I was on my way out the door last night and misread your question. There is indeed a bug in Arbortext 6.0 when using Print Composer in batch mode, which can be fixed as described in my answer. However, that was not your question. I do not know the answer to your specific question about not using Distiller. That’s what I get for not reading carefully.
If I understand your question, you’d like to use direct-to-PDF with a print composer license. That’s not supported in AE 5.2. It is supported in AE 5.4, either with a print composer license or a styler license. However, I ran into problems trying to automate this in a batch script. Since our production PDF generation is via PE, I didn’t pursue the issue and generate the PDF interactively instead (only use it for development purposes).