When I saw this yesterday I thought we’d see more comment, after all it marks the acquisition of one of the more significant independents left in the UK at the same times as one of the other more significant independents (Quercus) has announced that it is for sale.
I think it’s a very smart buy by Little, Brown in that it closes off possible mergers and alliances that might have been more harmful to its interests and builds their list in some areas where, if they are not necessarily weak, they can always be stronger. As others have pointed out C&R has a decent direct to consumer operation which is no doubt attractive in these times of weakening booksellers.
All in all, an interesting move:
In the short term, Constable & Robinson, under Managing Director Pete Duncan who will now report to Little, Brown Publisher David Shelley, will continue trading from its current premises in Russell Square with business conducted as usual. The transaction has been structured as a purchase by Little, Brown of 100 per cent shareholding in the business, which remains intact as a company. All its contracts remain valid and will be honoured. There should be no disruption for authors and all arrangements with customers, freelancers, distribution partners, suppliers and other contacts of the house stand as they are at least until fully discussed with the parties concerned.