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Houghton to Layoff Hundreds of Employees, Take More Charges

As previewed just about a month ago, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt updated investors in an SEC filing on Tuesday on their planned restructuring. Their "organizational design change actions," which will be "substantially complete" by the end of May 2017, are expected to reduce their employee count "by approximately 8 percent to 10…

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Bezos Tells Shareholders and Employees It Will Never Be Day 2

Amazon ceo Jeff Bezos's annual letter to shareholders focuses on particulars of his management philosophy more than anything, but it starts with his answer to a common question: "'Jeff, what does Day 2 look like?'" "That’s a question I just got at our most recent all-hands meeting. I've been reminding…

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Recorded Books Renames Itself RBmedia

Recorded Books acquired the Audiobooks.com retail platform on December 31, 2016 but has officially "announced" the acquisition on Tuesday. (In turn, the publishing arm of Audiobooks.com now operates as Novel Audio.) Recorded Books has also unveiled a broader rebranding of the parent company as RBmedia going forward. The new "unified brand" will "help…

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Penguin Random House to Acquire Barcelona-Based Ediciones B

Penguin Random House will add to its sprawling Spanish-language publishing program with a deal to acquire Ediciones B in Barcelona from Grupo Zeta. The company says the acquisition "will reinforce PRHGE's cultural preeminence and market share in Spain, Latin America, and across the entire Spanish-speaking world." Ediciones B's imprints also operate in Argentina,…

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International: Quarto Sells Hong Kong Services, Storytel Expands, and More

Following the sale of their ANZ Books & Gifts Direct business earlier this year, Quarto is continuing to slim the non-publishing part of their portfolio. They will sell their 75 percent stake in Hong Kong-based Regent Printing Services to 1010 Printing Group for $7 million (which includes $2.5 million for Quarto's share…

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BN Board Authorizes New Stock Repurchase to Boost Share Price

The Barnes & Noble board has authorized spending up to $50 million to repurchase the retailer's inexpensive shares. While that seems like a modest initiative by most corporate standards, BN stock has been trading near its low point and as of Wednesday, that new authority would have covered roughly 8…

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London Announcements from Storytel, Faber, and More

Sweden's acquisitive Storytel purchased People's Press in Denmark, which publishes about 100 titles a year, as of March 1. They paid approximately $10.7 million. People's Press had 2016 sales of about $14.5 million, and has a backlist of approximately 1,200 titles. Storytel acquired audiobook publisher Kontentan earlier this year, following last year's…

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Rabe Reaffirms Plan to Buy Part of Penguin's Stake, and Bring In Financial Partner

Bertelsmann chief executive Thomas Rabe reiterated in an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel the plan for Bertelsmann to buy only part of Pearson's 47 percent stake in Penguin Random House, while looking to a financial partner to buy out the remainder. "I expect we will raise our stake to 70 or…

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Corporate: Rovio Spinoff, New York Wants to Tax Online Marketplaces, and More

Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment spun off their book publishing business as Kaiken Publishing last month. The separate unit will "build on Rovio's book business while also developing publishing programs for new stories, worlds and characters. Kaiken will concentrate on children's and teen content as well as comics for all…

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Corporate: History Press Management Buyout, and More

In the UK, three members of management have acquired The History Press in a buyout from private equity firm Octopus Investments. Finance director Gareth Swain will take over as managing director since former MD Tim Davies did not participate in the buyout and has left the company. Laura Perehinec is now publishing…

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