SAD NEWS has emerged over the weekend of Darton, Longman and Todd (DLT), publishers of the Jerusalem Bible amongst many other titles, entering crisis talks with creditors, seeking a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in an attempt to stave off the impact of mounting debts which are threatening the company with bankruptcy.
A report in the Tablet 19/11/2011, p.32, under the headline “£15,000 owed to Rowan Williams by cash-strapped Christian publisher”, outlines the extent of the company’s difficulties:
DLT is asking its creditors to accept repayment of only 25 pence in every pound of more than £450,000 debt over the next five years. It needs two-thirds of the creditors to agree to this arrangement for it to come into effect, and a meeting next month is scheduled between the company and its creditors
The report goes on to quote from a letter to creditors — one of whom is the Tablet, albeit only to the tune of £28.38 — from the company’s Editorial Director, David Maloney:
If this proposal is not accepted by 75 per cent of creditors who respond, then DLT will be wound up, a situation which is likely to result in a much lower reimbursement of the money owed to you.
Other creditors cited as being owed much more substantial sums include the Bible Society (almost £30k). The crisis is put down to a gradual build up of debts over a number of years as the company has struggled with “very difficult market conditions” as more and more Christian bookshops — in particular, the former SPCK bookshops — have closed down and online book sales have increased.
The news was picked up by the Bookseller earlier today: Christian publisher DLT in plea to creditors (h/t Melanie Carroll).