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Heritage House buys assets of Greystone Books

Victoria’s Heritage House Publishing has acquired all assets of Greystone Books from D&M Publishers.

According to a press release issued late Thursday night, the assets will form the backlist for a new company, Greystone Books Ltd., based in Vancouver. All books currently under contract are included in the deal, with a list of 2013 titles to be announced in the next few weeks.

Heritage House president Rodger Touchie initiated the deal, which was approved by the Supreme Court of British Columbia last week. Former Greystone publisher Rob Sanders, who launched the imprint in 1993, will become a significant shareholder in the company. Sanders will return to his former position of publisher, joined by former associate publisher Nancy Flight.

In the press release, Touchie says, “In the past 20 years Greystone Books built a significant legacy in Canadian publishing. I have long admired their program and have great respect for both Rob and Nancy. They will add immensely to our Heritage Group team, and together we will make sure Greystone is around for a long time to come.”

Greystone’s backlist includes Candace Savage’s A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape, which won the 2012 Hilary Weston Prize for Non-fiction, and Charlotte Gill’s tree-planting memoir Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe, which won the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and was nominated for the Hilary Weston Prize and the Charles Taylor Prize.

Canadian distribution of Greystone titles will continue to be handled by HarperCollins Canada, with the exception of rural Western Canada, which will be handled by Heritage Group Distribution. Publishers Group West, the California-based division of Perseus Books Group, will distribute Greystone titles in the U.S. and to international territories.

Documents filed last year to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy revealed that D&M owes $6.3 million to 143 creditors. In late December, the Supreme Court of British Columbia awarded the company a further 45-day extension on its creditor protection. D&M has until Feb. 18 to file a proposal.

Q&Q will continue to report on the story as more details become available.