The Big Five Sat Out Deal Making in 2015
The major acquisitions in the
past year were in the professional and education segments
The biggest deals in the pub- lishing industry in 2015 occurred outside of the trade sector. Unlike 2013, when the
Random House–Penguin merger was completed, or 2014, when HarperCollins
acquired Harlequin, the major trade houses
did not make any major acquisitions last
year. The biggest acquisitions in 2015 were
in professional and educational publishing,
led by the merger of the Macmillan Science
and Education companies (excluding
Macmillan’s U.S. higher education and
trade properties) with Springer Science +
Business. The merger was completed in
May, with Macmillan parent company
Holtzbrinck holding a 53% stake in the
combined company, which was renamed
In April, Scholastic reached an agreement
to sell its educational publishing technology
group to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for
$575 million. The unit includes such products as Read 180, and it had revenue of $249
million in the fiscal year ended May 31,
2014. Scholastic said it intended to reinvest
the proceeds from the sale, which closed in
May, in its remaining operations, which
publish and distribute books and other
materials for the school and trade markets.
The biggest news in trade publishing
was that the owners of the Perseus Books
Group were again exploring the possible
sale of the company. In 2014, the sale of
Perseus to the Hachette Book Group and
Ingram was called off at the last minute. In
September 2015, however, Perseus CEO
David Steinberger said that due to continued
interest in the publisher, it had hired the
investment banking firm Greenhill & Co.
SOURCE: PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
ANNOUNCED BUYER TARGET COMMENTS
Jan. 5 Microcosm Publishing Elly Blue Publishing Elly Blue became a Mirocosm
Jan. 6 Recorded Books Tantor Media The purchase added 4,500
audio titles to Recorded Books.
Jan. 7 Kampmann & Co. Spencer Hill Press The purchase added 117 titles
Jan. 15 Macmillan Science Springer Science + The merger of the two publishers
and Education Business created the € 1. 5 billion
Springer Nature company.
Feb. 2 Rowman & Littlefield Gooseberry Patch The purchase added 200 titles
Feb. 3 Centre Lane Partners Perseus Books Group Centre Lane became Perseus’s
Feb. 23 ReaderLink Baker & Taylor The purchase added 500 titles
Feb. 25 Lerner Publishing Egmont USA The purchase added 100
Group children’s titles to Lerner.
Mar. 16 Peter Lang Peter Lang Publishing The Switzerland-based
management group publisher has a U.S. division.
Apr. 24 Houghton Mifflin Scholastic educational HMH acquired Scholastic’s
Harcourt technology group educational technology group
for $575 million.
June 3 Dzanc Hawthorne Books The purchase added 40 titles to
June 16 Hachette UK Nicholas Brealey The purchase included U.K.-
based Brealey’s U.S. unit plus
the Davies-Black and
Intercultural Press imprints.
Aug. 3 Shamrock Advisors Recorded Books The private equity firm became
major player in audiobook
Sept. 24 New Harbinger Impact Publishers The purchase added 125 titles
to New Harbinger.
Oct. 28 HarperCollins The Midlist The niche purchase gives HC
an e-book deal newsletter.
Nov. 18 Athena Andreadis Candlemark & Gleam The author acquired the 28-title
Dec. 17 Rowman & Littlefield Stackpole Books The purchase added 1,000
titles to R&L.