Flash: Cody's Sold to Japanese Buyer

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday September 05, 2006

A Tokyo-based buyer will purchase the two remaining Cody’s Bookstores, according to Pat Cody, former owner of the original Cody’s with her late husband Fred Cody. The purchase is “a good thing,” Cody told the Daily Planet Tuesday morning. 

Current Cody’s owner Andy Ross will announce details of the sale Wednesday at a 9 a.m. press briefing at Cody’s Fourth Street store. Ross made headlines several months ago with the closing of the famed Telegraph Avenue Cody’s. 

The new owner will be either Tokyo-based businessman Hiroshi Kagawa or the company of which he is CEO and President: Yohan, Inc.  

Last year Yohan, a Japanese book distributor founded in 1953, bought Stone Bridge Press, a Berkeley-based publishing company. Yohan owns several retail bookshops in Japan, according to a press release issued at the time Yohan acquired Stone Bridge. 

Stone Bridge Press is an English-language publisher specializing in books about Japan and its pop cultures. 

Yohan, the largest distributor of general foreign books and magazines in Asia, according to a press statement, is capitalized at 525 million yen or $4.5 million, says the company’s web site. 

Kagawa, 51, who resides in Tokyo and New York “has long been active as a journalist and a specialist in international publishing,” according to the Yohan web site. 

It is not clear at this time whether the store on Telegraph Avenue—now used as a Halloween retail outlet—is part of the deal. Ross owns part of the former Cody’s on Telegraph and holds a $20,000-per-month lease on the other part of the former bookstore.