Report: Perseus-Hachette-Ingram Deal Falls Apart

The three-way deal that would have seen Hachette grow its U.S. revenues roughly 10% and content distributor Ingram swallow one of its main competitors has fallen apart, according to Publishers Lunch.

Announced at the end of June, the blockbuster deal was set to close by the end of July. Ingram, the world’s largest content distributor, was set to pick up the Perseus distribution businesses, including digital distribution service Constellation. Hachette was going to acquire the company’s publishing imprints, a business that reportedly generated $70 to $100 million in annual revenue.

In a note acquired by Publishers Lunch, Perseus CEO David Steinberger wrote that “Despite much effort from all three parties, we could not reach agreement on everything necessary to close the transaction.”

No word on exactly why the deal fell apart, but it leaves many questions, principally, what will Hachette do now? The company intimated that this acquisition would be its last to fulfill its early year promise of diversifying and expanding more into nonfiction.

Until this deal fell through, the inexorable trend seemed to be the increase in size and scale of the world’s largest publishers. Penguin and Random House merged and HarperCollins acquired the world’s largest romance publisher Harlequin — both in the past two years. The strategy is to develop scale to take advantage of new book production efficiencies, to take advantage of new opportunities in global markets, and to have more heft to make negotiations with big retailers easier.


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