Alert! In a deal that will cement the future SA Lit on the web, I’m proud to announce that BOOK SA has agreed to sell a majority stake in our small but growing literary network to LitNet.
More specifically, we’re being acquired by LitNet’s holding company, Webwerf, a small outpost in the Media24/Naspers empire-without-end. (Can I even say that now?)
You will have read in our most recent newsletter – mailed today, check your inboxes – that major changes are afoot behind the scenes here at BOOK SA. We’re planning to roll out a fairly substantial upgrade on April 23, our birthday, and are working frantically to tie up all the loose ends.
What I didn’t mention was that the “three-column format” advertised in the newsletter is LitNet’s: that’s right, from April 23, we’ll be upgrading to the sleeker, more user-friendly LitNet template. This should help us draw a wider audience and also make it easer for BOOK SA members to promote and sell their books.
The combined network power of BOOK SA and LitNet – once we’ve got all the synergies worked out – will be pretty awesome to behold. Earlier today, LitNet talisman Etienne van Heerden and myself released a joint statement on this “merger of equals”:
For immediate release
LITNET AND BOOK SA AGREE TO MERGE
Create the Largest SA Lit Leader in SA
Merger Combines Highly Complementary Businesses Positioned for Strong Global Growth
LitNet and BOOK SA announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge, creating the largest SA Lit servicing and asset promotion firm globally.
The new company, which will be called LitNet met BOOK SA, will be the world’s leading SA Lit asset servicer with thousands of book titles in assets under custody, and will rank among the top 10 literary website managers with more than 1 000 under management in the world.
LitNet’s Etienne van Heerden said, “We are creating one of the world’s leading literary services growth companies. Both our companies focus their businesses in highly attractive sectors of the literary services industry. Together, we will be the global leader in literary servicing, and one of the top providers of book and publishing management worldwide. Together, we will have the scale, the technology, the capital, and the people we need to compete and win in the rapidly expanding global marketplace.”
BOOK SA’s Ben Williams said, “The merger creates an extraordinarily strong and rapidly growing global competitor in our core businesses. Through this merger, we will be able to invest and expand more effectively than any of our competitors due to our combined scale, profitability and global reach. The organic growth of our respective companies is already strong, and the cost savings and revenue synergies opportunities are excellent. Together, we will have the best service in the world, strong performance and the highest literary standards.”
The transaction has been unanimously approved by each company’s staff complement and is expected to be completed by April 23, World Book Day.
The release goes on a bit from there, but I won’t bore you with the rest.
BOOK SA staff, needless to say, are ecstatic at the prospect of getting full medical and dental along with their corner offices in the Media24 building on Cape Town’s foreshore. Afrikaanse woordeboeke have been handed out and we’re currently all brushing up!
Watch this space for further news, and get ready for the unveiling, in just a few short weeks, of LitNet met BOOK SA!