Monday 17 August 2015
Bible Society Australia is acquiring Koorong, Australia’s leading Christian retailer.
The deal, signed on Friday, will increase access to the Bible and Christian resources both within Australia and around the world, in places where God’s word is most in need, says Bible Society Australia chairman, Richard Grellman.
Bible Society’s CEO Greg Clarke said in a statement that the Society and Koorong share a common goal. Bible Society has a cross denominational mission to translate, distribute and engage people with the Bible. Koorong’s mission is to “effectively supply and promote an extensive range of Christian products that will be of spiritual benefit to the body of Christ.”
“We believe that by coming together, we have the potential to transform hundreds of thousands of lives. It’s a match made in heaven and will ensure that both organisations are positioned positively for growth and can thrive for years to come,” said Dr Clarke.
“We will now be able to share our important Bible work with, and garner support from, Koorong customers. What’s more, those who shop at Koorong can now know that their purchases will fund even more important Bible mission projects here and around the world.”
Koorong’s managing director Paul Bootes is set to continue to lead Koorong operations, which includes 15 stores across Australia, an online shop and 400 employees.
Mr Bootes says it will be “business as usual for Koorong, with all current staff to be retained.”
“We’re thrilled with the new partnership as it allows us to both share the important materials that mean so much to our fellow Christians and support vital missions around the world,” said Mr Bootes.
Koorong’s first bookstore was opened in 1978 and has expanded to offer an extensive range of Christian books, Bibles, music, DVDs and gifts. While business will remain as usual, customers purchasing from Koorong will now be contributing to spreading the word of God, through Bible Society mission projects around the world.
While the purchase amount remains confidential, Bible Society says it used funds from investments and property to acquire Koorong.
“Instead of investing some of those funds into the financial markets, we are investing in a company that shares our values, provides jobs … and will increase support for our mission,” the organisation announced. It says funds committed to mission work, primarily raised through fundraising, were not used for the acquisition.
Dr Clarke says the partnership will help support the overwhelming need for more literacy and translation efforts, such as the Society’s new appeal for its mission work in Zambia.
“In the past three years, Bible Society Australia has established more than 100 international programmes but there are a huge number of deserving projects that still go unfunded. In China, demand for Bibles outstrips supply and more than 54 million people there are still illiterate. In Pakistan, women have one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, and in Zambia, the need for support is at a critical level,” said Dr Clarke.
“”We look forward to expanding our mission efforts alongside our loyal Koorong customers and the continued prayers and vital contributions of our valued supporters,” he said.
Watch a video of Dr Greg Clarke and Mr Paul Bootes talking about the announcement: