Hachette to Acquire Perseus Book Group, Will Split it with Ingram

Hachette-Book-Group-LARGE11[1]Last week I jokingly said that the 5 major US trade publishers were trying to acquire their way out of a decline in revenues, and darned if one didn't prove me right today.

Hachette has announced Tuesday night that they are acquiring Perseus Book Group. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but we do know that publisher will be split between Hachette and Ingram, which will be buying PBG's distribution division and adding it to Ingram's existing ebook, library ebook, paper book, and POD distribution divisions.

As a privately held company, Perseus did not disclose their annual revenues, but Publishers Lunch said that PBG had gross revenues of around $425 million, with $100 million from publishing and the rest from distribution of 3rd-party books. With this deal Hachette will be boosting their US revenues to around $740 million (not counting losses from the ongoing fight with Amazon), putting Hachette not too far behind S&S (which has about $800 million in annual revenue).

This deal adds 6,000 mostly nonfiction titles to Hachette's catalog, along with PBG's Basic, Public Affairs, Running Press, Avalon Travel, and Seal Press imprints as well as academic textbook publisher Westview Press and other imprints. Hachette has almost no revenue from nonfiction publishing, and this diversification can't hurt.

The Hachette Perseus news follows about 8 weeks after HarperCollins announced their acquisition of the romance publisher Harlequin. Would anyone care to wager who will be bought next?

About Nate Hoffelder (11464 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on Hachette to Acquire Perseus Book Group, Will Split it with Ingram

  1. Kensington.

    • Really? I was thinking HachetteCollins or MacSimon.

      • I think that HachetteCollins or MacSimon would trigger too much opposition from competition bureaus around the world.

        • Random Penguin Solutions passed muster, and that company is a heck of a lot larger than either of the two I proposed.

          • Exactly so.
            Last I heard, the Randy Penguin deal passed muster because the BPHs combined only control 25% (and shrinking) of all trade book sales.
            Somebody might gripe if the Penguin ate Hachette but not too loudly.

      • Kensington shares most of Harlequin’s weaknesses. They are heavy on the romance side which is quickly going indie, which is why Zacharius has been ranting against indies, which means they’re feeling the heat.

        Hachette likely lacks the pockets to buy MacMillan and CBS hasn’t been too serious about moving S&S. Besides, if either can be had, Murdock will outbid them.
        Other than scarfing up more of the smaller fish, Hachette is more likely to be eaten.

        I would sooner expect them to buy Nook than another BPH…
        …and I’m not holding my breath for that.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.