3M Selling Off Its Library Systems Business

3M Selling Off Its Library Systems Business

The Maplewood manufacturer has chosen to “focus on [its] core businesses” as it sells its $100 million digital library systems division.

3M announced Tuesday that it has completed the sale of its North American Library Systems business, a self-serve kiosk and cloud-based book lending service used by libraries nationwide.
 
The buyer of Maplewood-based 3M’s Library Systems division is One Equity Partners Capital Advisors (OEP). In the release, 3M specified that the deal for 3M’s North American branch of Library Systems had been processed and that an arrangement to sell the remaining international assets of the business were being ironed out.
 
“After a thorough strategic review, we have decided to exit the Library Systems business, and focus on our core businesses such as reflective traffic safety and vehicle identification solutions, and our public security identification and monitoring portfolio,” John Riccardi, 3M’s vice president and general manager of its traffic safety and security division, said in a statement.
 
Details of the transaction were not disclosed. The Library Systems business posted global sales over the last 12 months of about $100 million.
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Library Systems has been built up during its 40-year history to host more than 200,000 titles from over 300 publishers across more than 23,000 libraries. Local libraries, such as Hennepin County Library, have utilized the service to allow patrons easy access to its array of digital books by providing e-book downloads for tablet, smartphone or personal computers.
 
Additionally, the business also provides radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that automates circulation, inventory, security and customer service functions through information stored on tags that are affixed to individual books. This operation is performed by detection meters typically placed near doorways (see right).
 
“As a single source provider for tech-enabled library services, 3M’s Library Systems will allow us to deepen our presence in the education and library sector,” OEP partner Dr. Jörg Zirener said in a statement. Specifically, he said that OEP is looking to expand its product offerings in “end-to-end automation solutions for public, private and academic libraries.”
 
The sale of Library Systems’ global operations is expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year. Approximately 100 Library Systems employees will make the move to OEP following the deal’s total completion.

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