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ICSTI: news items

  • To: epc@iucr.org
  • Subject: ICSTI: news items
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 09:38:35 +0100
  • Organization: IUCr

Subject: Pieter Bolman joins STM as Chief Exec.

STM publishing continues to change quickly, and over the last two years the 
Executive Board of STM has determined that our trade association must change 
as well. The importance of enabling technologies and of innovative 
collaborations such as CrossRef, HINARI, and AGORA continue to grow in 
importance. At the same time, the increasing interest around the world in the 
creation and dissemination of STM information has stretched our resources for 
advocacy and education more than ever.

We have begun a substantial upgrade of our resources for outreach, 
collaboration, advocacy, and education with the creation of the post of Chief 
Executive Officer of STM. STM?s Executive Board is pleased to announce that 
Dr. Pieter S.H. Bolman has accepted a one-year appointment to the new 
position of Chief Executive Officer of STM effective 1 August. Dr. Bolman 
will provide the full-time strategic leadership of STM that the current 
fast-paced and challenging environment requires.

Dr. Bolman joins us from Reed-Elsevier, where he has been Vice President and 
Director, STM Relations since 2001 before which he was CEO of Academic Press 
for 10 years. Pieter?s long and distinguished publishing career began in 1972 
at North Holland Press, which he joined as a physics editor from the 
laboratory bench. He was Managing Director of Pergamon Press prior to joining 
Harcourt to run Academic Press.

Lex Lefebvre continues as Secretary General reporting to Dr. Bolman. In 
January 2005 Lex will take up a new appointment as Managing Director of the 
International Publishers Readers? Organization, a Dutch RRO closely 
affiliated with STM. Lex thus continues in his valuable role as part of the 
STM family, and he and Pieter as a team will greatly strengthen our 

Please join Lex and the Executive Board in welcoming Pieter to STM.

Subject: Swets in trouble...

With thanks to STM for the information translated from het Financieele Dagblad 
of last Monday.

Swets at brink of ruin after accounting fault

Banks demand capital injection


AMSTERDAM ? Swets & Zeitlinger, Dutch distributors of scientific information, 
are in trouble. The business needs refinancing after it was found that it 
made losses in the past years.

As a consequence of the problems Swets no longer meets the credit conditions 
of the bank. On Friday, shareholders will decide on a capital injection of € 
45 million.
This is confirmed by Jan-Willem Baud, chairman of the board of supervisory 
directors. Baud is the director of NPM Capital, which holds 26% of the shares 
of Swets. Other shareholders are the Swets family (29%) , Nesbic (23%), 
Paribas (15%), and Alpinvest (7%). The business has approx. 1400 employees in 
23 offices.
NPM has promised new money. Baud: ?We believe that Swets can go on for another 
hundred years in spite of the problems.? Other shareholders are still 
hesitant about whether or not they should jump to the rescue, says Baud.
Already in May it became public that Swets had found ?errors? in their books. 
And that hundreds of jobs will be scrapped.
Just last year Swets was still being offered for sale to international 
high-risk venture capitalists with a price tag of hundreds of millions. One 
buyer, Candover, pulled out in the last minute.
Swets is an intermediary between scientific publishers and major users such as 
universities. The company suffers from the increasing distribution of 
information through the Internet. Attempts to become more electronically 
active themselves have not panned out as predicted by the management.
The last figures published by Swets pertain to 2002, when ? according to the 
information ? a turnover of € 1.2 billion and a net profit of € 30.8 million 
were achieved. Swets now has to review the figures over 2001, 2002, and 2003.
According to Baud, transactions between parent companies and subsidiaries were 
processed incorrectly for years. Swets presently cannot give insight into the 
adjusted results. As a consequence of debit transfers, which Baud does not 
want to specify, Swets ends up in the red. ?But non-recurring items do not 
get us into loss. Profits do have to increase though.?
Fraud, says Baud, was not discovered. Finance director Eelco de Boer is said 
to have stumbled across errors of his predecessor after taking up office last 
year. Whether these events will have consequences for director Eric van 
Amerongen or other managers, Baud does not want to disclose ahead of the 
shareholders? meeting next Friday.



Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
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