Media group Chrysalis has offloaded its books division by sealing a £12.5 million deal with managers of the lossmaking business.
The move yesterday will enable Chrysalis to focus on its core operations of radio stations, including two in the West Midlands, and its music publishing arm.
Chrysalis Books, which made losses of £2.8 million in the 12 months to August last year on turnover of £27.4 million, has published novels by actress Joan Collins and former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith.
It is being bought by Anova Books Company - a company formed by Robin Wood, who is the chief executive of the Books division, and senior managers.
In addition to fiction, the London-based business also covers lifestyle, crafts and hobbies, mind, body and spirit, maritime, popular history and sport.
Among its imprints are Collins & Brown, National Trust Books, Putnam Aeronautical Books, Batsford, Brassey's and Sterling.
Chrysalis described the sale of the books division as the final stage in its strategy to create a focused radio and music publishing business - two years after selling its television business to a management team for £50.8 million.
The need for a more focused business was shown in a trading update in September when revenues at Chrysalis Radio slid 8.6 per cent to £61.8 million.
In common with other radio station owners, Chrysalis has felt the pain of a weak advertising market.
Chrysalis is the fourth largest radio group in the UK and runs the Galaxy and Heart brands, including Birmingham-based Galaxy
102.2 and 100.7 Heart fm, as well LBC in London.
The books division was loss-making in 2003 and 2004 and is expected to report underlying losses of £4.5 million in the current financial year.
The business was created through the acquisition of a number of small publishers between 1998 and 2001, with tough trading conditions leading to a series of restructuring initiatives in recent months.
Under the terms of the sale Anova Books Company will take on the outstanding inter company debt owed by Chrysalis Books to the Chrysalis Group.
This will take the form of £9 million convertible tenyear loan stock and £3.5 million at three per cent.
Given the deferred nature of the consideration, Chrysalis said it would make a provision of £11.5 million against the total payable of £12.5 million.
Shares closed up 1p at 1361/2p.