Askew Group Limited, which includes Askews Library Services Limited, is delighted to announce that the Company has joined the Little Group Limited with effect from lst September 2007. Based in Eastbourne, the Little Group is better known as the parent company of Gardners Books Limited and Browns Books for Students.

John Cropley, Askews Chairman has welcomed the move saying, "It safeguards the future of the Company and employees as well as providing continuing service enhancements to library customers worldwide.

Kathryn Pattinson, Askews Managing Director comments:

"Askews has been at the forefront of library supply for over 100 years. We believe this new partnership with the UK's largest and most successful book wholesaler will strengthen our position both nationally and internationally. The current outlook in Public Library Supply is under scrutiny from various agencies and this merger ensures Askews will maintain its position at the forefront in our ability to provide for the current and, perhaps more importantly, the future needs of library services. The added strength of group IT services and operational functions, plus the wider stock holding available within Gardners, will greatly benefit our customers and will help us to continue to develop and expand our services.

The exciting new Digital Warehouse, which is shortly to be available through Gardners Books, will also enable us to offer E-books, audio downloads and the new digital marketing materials, such as author videos, podcasts and "View Inside" features, to our library customers."

The Askews Team in Preston will continue as a "full service specialist library supplier" and the new structure will have no effect on the current operation. Sales Director, Andy Holland said, "We are looking forward to working with The Little Group and in continuing and developing further our service offering to customers."

Jonathan Little, Chairman of the Little Group Limited said:

"We are very pleased to welcome Askews to the Group. They have always maintained an unbeatable and first-class service to their library customers and we look forward to building on this to provide even better services in the future for both existing and potential customers. Annual sales across the group will be almost 200 million with a significant 20% into international market.

3i, long-term investor in Askews successfully divests its [26%] stake at this time.

Will Clark; 3i Director added "As a longstanding and active supporter of Askews, we have been very pleased with the company's impressive progress in an increasingly competitive environment. We believe that the combined group, through this merger with The Little Group Ltd, will put them in an even stronger position to implement their future growth plans and we wish them well."

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