Dozens of jobs have been secured after the sale of some of Wesley Owen’s chain of Christian book stores and the two trading divisions Authentic Media and STL Distribution. However, many other jobs are still at risk.
The sale announcement was made just before Christmas by the trustees and senior management of Carlisle-based charity IBS-STL UK. It came after months of urgent negotiations to stave off liquidation, following serious financial difficulties.
Corporate financiers Baker Tilly conducted the sale of Authentic Music, based in Milton Keynes, to Eastbourne-based Kingsway Communications. Authentic Book Publishing and eight Wesley Owen Stores have been sold to Australian company Koorong.
Koorong has purchased all the intellectual property and author contracts of Authentic and Paternoster, freehold properties in Glasgow and York, and the Wesley Owen trading and domain names. STL Distribution has been purchased by Scottish book publisher John Ritchie, and a further six stores were bought by CLC International.
A statement from IBS-STL said that there are ongoing discussions with the administrators and various interested parties to try to keep the remaining 26 stores going.