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?