The Charlotte N.C.-based Baker & Taylor, a key distributor of books, DVDs and CDs, has denied reports that it is in danger of defaulting on its obligations or filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Baker & Taylor, which is owned by private equity firm Castle Harlan Partners, bills itself as the “world’s largest distributor of books and entertainment.” In 2006 B&T had sales of $2.2 billion and employed 3,750.
In February Moody’s Investor’s Services downgraded Baker & Taylor to a "B3" rating. B&T’s EVP of marketing Kimberly Kuo criticized the downgrade saying that it didn’t reflect the distributor’s daily operations and cash flow. Kuo told Home Media that B&T had been able to increase cash flow by 25% and had plenty of liquidity ($110 million), saying: “We are a long way from not paying our bills.”