Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Acquisition of Hart Publishing Limited
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (“Bloomsbury”) announces that it has today completed the acquisition of the issued share capital of Hart Publishing Ltd (“Hart”), the Oxford-based legal publisher, from the management shareholders. The initial consideration of GBP6.5 million (which is subject to working capital adjustments) was paid in cash on completion from Bloomsbury’s own cash reserves.
A further cash consideration of up to a maximum of GBP0.5 million will be payable on the achievement of certain revenue and title number targets for the period ending 31 March 2014. The acquisition is expected to generate cost savings and be immediately earnings enhancing contributing approximately GBP1.4 million of revenue to Bloomsbury in the year ending 28 February 2014.
The acquisition is consistent with Bloomsbury’s strategy to increase its proportion of academic and professional revenues to 50% of total sales in five years’ time. Academic and professional revenues are more predictable and have lower related costs of sale with higher margins and are much less reliant on retail bookshop sales. Around 50% of Hart’s revenue is generated outside the UK, thereby increasing Bloomsbury’s benefit from the global book market. The acquisition will also enable the Company to further develop its e-book publishing and expand the Bloomsbury Professional digital suite of services.
Hart was founded in 1996 and has developed a world class academic list with leading authors including Michael Fordham QC, Andrew Burrows, Grainne de Burca, JW Carter, Peter Cane, Simon Deakin, Vernon Bogdanor, Robert O’Donoghue, Philip Coppel QC and Michael Beloff QC amongst others. Hart generated GBP2.6 million of revenue and GBP0.5 million of profit before tax in the year ended 31 March 2013. Gross assets at that date were GBP1.4 million.
The Hart lists are highly complementary to Bloomsbury’s existing academic and professional lists, offering Bloomsbury the ability to enhance revenue momentum within its Academic & Professional division in the UK and overseas markets.
In 2009 Hart won the Independent Publishing Guild’s Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year and in 2012 was highly commended in the Book Industry Award’s Academic and Educational and Professional Publisher Academic of the Year.
Richard Hart, Managing Director of Hart Publishing Ltd, commented:
“Hart has a leading position in academic legal publishing, with a thriving backlist, a huge number of authors who are leading authorities in their field, a dynamic digital programme, and – above all – an excellent team in Oxford. I am delighted that Hart is finding a new home with Bloomsbury, a company we all admire. I am confident that the lists and teams of the two companies will make a powerful combination, capable of playing a major role in the academic legal publishing landscape in the years ahead.”
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury commented:
“The acquisition of Hart increases our presence in the academic and professional market and is a significant step forward in achieving our ambition of generating 50% of turnover from this important sector. It is complementary to, and will substantially enhance, Bloomsbury Professional, in particular increasing the division’s international sales. Our growing proportion of academic and professional revenues will increase profit margins and give our results more stability. The mix of digital and subscription based services that can be built out of the acquisition are hugely exciting and will provide good financial returns.”
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc- Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house with companies in London, New York, Delhi and Sydney. Its founder and Chief Executive is Nigel Newton. Its four divisions are:
Bloomsbury Academic & Professional Publishing – Bloomsbury Academic & Professional division has grown rapidly since its inception in 2008, and specialises in the humanities, social sciences, law and tax. Output of titles and services is over 1,100 per year. The division includes the active imprints of Bloomsbury Academic, Bloomsbury Professional, Methuen Drama, Arden Shakespeare, Fairchild Books, and the historic imprints of Berg Publishers, Bristol Classical Press, Continuum International and AVA Books. The divisional Managing Director is Jonathan Glasspool.
In March 2013, the Independent Publishers Guild voted Bloomsbury’s Academic & Professional division Independent Publisher of the Year and Frankfurt Book Fair Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year. In May 2013 the division was awarded Academic, Educational & Professional Publisher of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards.
Within the division, we publish many world-leading writers, Nobel laureates and researchers in their fields, and actively seek out the emerging generation of authors. Our authors include Karl Barth, Joseph Ratzinger, Rowan Williams, George Bernard Shaw, Jonathan Sacks, Slavoj i ek, Theodor Adorno, Martin Heidegger, Alain Badiou, Bertolt Brecht, Arthur Miller, Michael Frayn, Paulo Freire, M A K Halliday, Noel Coward, Cardinal Newman, Willy Russell, Winston Churchill, Jean Anouilh, Edward Bond, Dario Fo, Tennessee Williams, Wole Soyinka, Jean Baudrillard, Roland Barthes and Paul Virilio.
Bloomsbury Information – includes a number of information databases for electronic as well as print publications. Publications include The Encarta World English Dictionary, The English Language Teaching Database, The Macmillan English Dictionary, Business: The Ultimate Resource, and others. Bloomsbury also provides management services for Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, a division of the Qatar Foundation.
Bloomsbury Adult Publishing – a substantial list of successful authors including Khaled Hosseini, William Boyd, Margaret Atwood, Donna Tartt, Elizabeth Gilbert, Richard Ford, David Guterson, John Irving, Jay McInerney, Ben Schott, Anthony Bourdain, William Dalrymple, Ben Macintyre, Dava Sobel, Mark Kurlansky, Chelsea Handler, Heston Blumenthal, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and recent Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson. The trade division also features significant reference projects including Wisden, Who’s Who, Reed’s Nautical and Whitaker’s.
Bloomsbury Children’s Publishing – a highly successful list including authors such as J.K.Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Debi Gliori, Alyxandra Harvey, Carrie Jones, Shannon Hale, Louis Sachar and Benjamin Zephaniah.
Hart Publishing Limited: the foundation of Hart Publishing Limited’s list was and is contemporary legal scholarship; but over the years an increasing number of textbook and practitioner titles have come onto the list. The list comprises over 1,000 titles for academics, practitioners and students with an output of some 170 new titles in the programme for the financial year 2013-2014. Hart also has a highly respected law journal portfolio of some 21 titles which complements the book programme. The company and its authors have received numerous accolades including the Independent Publisher Guild’s ‘Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year’ in 2009 and was highly commended in the ‘Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year’ category of the Book Industry Awards for 2012. Hart has embraced digital delivery with over 750 titles available in Adobe PDF and 200 as Epub titles and increasingly generates revenues globally with over 50% of its sales coming from outside the UK.