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No Joke -- An Apparent Amazon Source Uses Business Insider to Pressure Harper Negotiations

Many online stories today need to be taken with a grain of a salt, but the Business Insider story about Amazon and HarperCollins posted Tuesday is apparently meant seriously. An unidentified source whose perspective makes them connected to Amazon tells BI (in which Jeff Bezos is an investor), "The contract…

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Scholastic Acquires Minority Stake in UK Publisher Make Believe Ideas

Scholastic announced Monday that it acquired a minority equity interest in UK-based education learning company Make Believe Ideas. The first co-branded books for children aged 0-5 will be unveiled at the Bologna Book Fair next week, with worldwide release scheduled for fall 2015. Financial terms were not disclosed. "Make Believe…

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Rakuten to Buy OverDrive for $410 Million

The two companies announced in press releases that Rakuten will pay "a total consideration of $410 million in cash" to buy OverDrive. They say OverDrive's EBITDA was $25 million for 2014, which amounts to a very hefty multiple of earnings that Rakuten is paying -- but the Japanese-based company says that…

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Investor Talk: Harper Touts International Expansion, Eyes More Buys

We're using the slow week to catch up on presentations made at a couple of media investor conferences earlier this month. HarperCollins CFO Bedi Singh appeared at a Morgan Stanley conference in early March, where he underscored the better than expected results already coming from last year's Harlequin acquisition. "Harlequin…

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People, Etc.

Eerdmans has hired Lil Copan as senior acquisitions editor, general trade. She was at Abingdon Press most recently. A group of senior management and board members have joined in a management buyout of the Peter Lang Academic Publishing Group from the Peter Lang Children's Trust. The deal is expected to close by mid-2015. The new…

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Corporate: Coffee House Press Partners With Emily Books; The Readers Guild; and More

The special committee appointed by the Books-A-Million board to examine the Anderson family's offer to buy out other shareholders and take the company private has hired Houlihan Lokey as its financial adviser. Coffee House Press is partnering with Brooklyn-based feminist publishing project Emily Books, on an imprint for "books that speak to the…

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Barnes & Noble to Spin Off College Business As Separate, Public Company

Barnes & Noble filed a registration statement with the SEC to separate BN College into a separate, publicly-traded company, which will operate as Barnes & Noble Education Inc. They say "the separation is intended to be a tax-free distribution to Barnes & Noble shareholders and is anticipated to be completed by…

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Lerner Publishing Group Acquires Egmont USA List

What seemed like a premature announcement from Egmont that it was closing its US office at the end of January after giving their "attempts to sell" the unit only four months now has further clarity. Lerner Publishing has acquired Egmont USA's list of nearly 100 titles, and will fold those…

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Announcements: Quarto Buys Ivy; Maya Angelou Postage Stamp; Kindle Scout Launch List; and More

Quarto Publishing has agreed to acquire The Ivy Press for up to £1.3 million plus the assumption of up to £200,000 of debt, pending approval from the press's lender. The unit will become part of Quarto's international co-editions division. Founded in 1996, Ivy Press has been distributed by Thames & Hudson since 2012. Co-founder and…

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Chegg to Outsource Print Textbook Business to Ingram

Building substantially on an initiative that began last August, Chegg.com will transition the handling of all print textbook inventory over to Ingram under a renewable, five-year agreement as the company that started as a textbook rental play moves towards becoming an all-digital "student hub." (Digital textbook rentals will become Chegg's biggest…

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