Would you like to buy a comics distributor?

Cold Cut, which is pretty much the last viable comics distributor after Diamond, with a strong business in indies (the only books that are non exclusive these days) is up for sale:

After thirteen years of distributing small-press and independent comic books, the owners of Cold Cut Distribution are offering the company for sale, including its inventory, equipment and all other assets.

Within the comics industry, Cold Cut holds a unique position, filling a niche that no other company services. In addition to offering wholesale distribution, Cold Cut could be expanded or repositioned in many ways, including retail mail order, pop culture items, internet sales or other areas. As an established business, Cold Cut has the necessary infrastructure to jump-start any enterprising venture, and can be easily relocated from its current Salinas, CA warehouse to anywhere in the United States.

Please note that Cold Cut Distribution is not closing. We will continue to operate on a normal schedule and process all orders as usual. We are not changing the discounts we offer, or our terms of sale.

Individuals or companies who are interested in Cold Cut should contact Mark Thompson at 831-xxx-xxxx by phone (leave a message for call-back), [email protected] by email, or 831-751-1513 by fax. You may also arrange to meet with Mark Thompson in person at the upcoming Comic-Con International in San Diego.

UPDATED: Simon Jones at Icarus explains why he has a bad feeling about this.

Some rather unexpected, and potentially headache/heartache-inducing, news for indy comics publishers tonight… Cold Cut, the re-order distributor that has been a small but solid part of the direct market, and the only real comic distributor alternative to Diamond since FM International disintegrated, is now up for sale. While the message promises that orders will continue to be fulfilled, there was no mention of whether vendors will continue to receive payment, or any indication of how outstanding debts at the time of sale would be handled. This turn of events is worrisome for smaller publishers, myself included, in part because no such intention was ever shared with publishers beforehand. There’s also no guarantee that Cold Cut would continue as a distributor even if it finds a buyer… the pitch openly suggests the possibility of converting the operation into a mail-order business.