2022 was an odd year for publishing mergers, in multiple ways. In line with the larger market and the broader economy, the year started strong with a series of deals of note, following pandemic-driven strength. Then as interest rates rose and the economy cooled, deal activity got quiet quickly. Some of the year’s biggest deals were the ones that didn’t happen. There was Penguin Random House’s planned $2.175 billion acquisition of Simon & Schuster that was blocked by the court, of course. (Which means S&S will be back up for sale in 2023.) But also, it became clear in early […]
Pearson will acquire Personnel Decisions Research Institutes, which provides workforce assessment services, including to the US federal government. PDRI will join Pearson’s Assessment & Qualifications division. The companies have already partnered on assessments for federal jobseekers, and a release states, “This acquisition unlocks synergies between Pearson and PDRI, whilst bringing new capabilities for Pearson to explore as the company grows its long-standing enterprise learning presence.” PDRI is valued at $190 million, which Pearson will pay using existing cash and available liquidity. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2023, pending regulatory review.
Hachette UK announced Monday the acquisition of Welbeck Publishing Group, in an agreement executed on November 30. The company was founded by Mark Smith and Marcus Leaver in 2019, beginning with the acquisition of Carlton Books (and expanded through a number of original imprints, plus the acquisition of Eddison Books in 2020, and the launch of an Australian subsidiary with Booktopia in 2021.) Smith and Leaver said in the announcement, “The last few years have seen so much change in the world, it’s been daunting and exhilarating at the same time, and we are proud of what we have achieved. […]
After a preliminary review, the European Commission has formally “opened an in-depth investigation” to assess the competitive effects of Vivendi’s pending acquisition of Lagardere. They are “concerned that the proposed acquisition may reduce competition on a number of markets across the entire book value chain,” as well as in celebrity magazines (where the deal would combine Lagardere’s Paris Match with Vivendi’s Gala and Voici). Without modifications, the deal would combine the two largest book publishers in France. While Vivendi has said it is examining spinning off Editis into a separate company, that has been just talk so far. The EC […]
Charlesbridge Publishing has acquired Move Books, a children’s imprint with a “mission to move more boys to read with high-interest middle-grade fiction.” The deal includes Move backlist titles, which will be distributed under Charlesbridge starting April 2023. Going forward, the company will launch Move founder Eileen Robinson joined Charlesbridge in October as editorial director of Charlesbridge Moves, a new middle-grade imprint that will launch in 2024. Robinson will also edit board books and picture books for the Charlesbridge list as executive dditor. She said, “Charlesbridge Moves will excite middle-grade and chapter-book readers with adventure, mystery, and fun, giving them the […]
Storytel has given itself a significant financial lift with a new share issue that raises approximately 400 million SEK (about $37 million) from its two largest shareholders — EQT Public Investment and Roxette Photo — while also bringing in Finnish media company and book publisher Otava as an investor. (In a separate announcement, Otava says they bought a 3.5 percent stake in the streaming media company, for about 125 million SEK.) Shares were priced at SEK 45.50. The board “believes [it] will strengthen the liquidity of the shares and be beneficial to the Company” and help “ensure a strong balance […]