Really clear communication of strategy by public companies is not a given, so when I see it, I take note. Bloomsbury has been following a very clear strategy for some time, acquire bolt on (though not necessarily small) companies that add value in areas the company is seeking to expand.
The companies acquired have generally had one or both of two key ingredients. The first of these is intellectual property that can be exploited cross-platform and which compliment Bloomsbury’s existing IP, often such companies have not yet taken full advantage of the web. The second ingredient is either a promising digital play or a digital play that has already shown promise. Hart seems to fit both those features quite well:
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.
via Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Acquisition of Hart Publishing Limited – WSJ.com.
Another incredibly sensible acquisition by Bloomsbury and yet another that pulls them further away from the territory of a strict trade publisher. Good for them:
Bloomsbury’s strategy has been to increase its proportion of academic and professional revenues compared to trade revenues through retail channels. The current strength of the Groups academic sales compared to consumer sales vindicates this strategy. Academic revenues are more predictable and have lower related costs of sale with resulting higher margins, and are much less reliant on retail bookshop sales. Around 60% of Continuums sales are outside the UK, thereby increasing Bloomsburys exposure to the global book market. Through this acquisition, for the first time, Bloomsbury will have an academic editorial and marketing team in the US. Bloomsbury has an excellent track record in exploiting digital opportunities; this acquisition will enable us to develop Continuums 7,000 strong backlist through conversion to e-book formats and the creation of new subscription based academic services.
via booktrade.info – Book Trade Announcements – Bloomsbury Acquires Continuum.
A must read, not just for the piece itself but the vigour of the comments below it!
The simple fact is that the romance of the printed book outlives the demonstrable usefulness of printed books in any particular discipline, and it dies very, very hard. To be clear: I’m not saying that printed books have outlived their usefulness, only that when they do outlive it, the romance lingers on.
via The Digitized Book Corpus and the Cracking Dam « The Scholarly Kitchen.