Arcadia Publishing has acquired The History Press Inc., the U.S subsidiary of the U.K. based The History Press Ltd. Terms of the deal, which closed earlier this month, were not disclosed.
The purchase unites the two largest publishers of books based on local or regional content. Arcadia has a backlist of 9,000 titles that draws on pictures and other archival material to tell the story of particular communities. The History Press has a more text-based approach, with some 3,000 titles on regional topics and events.
Arcadia CEO Richard Joseph said History Press compliments his company’s list, noting that in a number of accounts their books are often sold side-by-side. He stressed however, that the editorial operations of the two companies, which are both based in Charleston, S.C., will remain separate, and that titles will continue to be released under The History Press imprint. Details of how the sales and marketing operations will be integrated are still being worked out, although Joseph said there are opportunities to create operating efficiencies.
In a note to the employees of both companies, Joseph wrote: "We are committed to the pursuit of new growth opportunities and to increasing the availability, depth, and breadth of local books."
He told PW that Arcadia has had a solid start to 2014 and that the company is on track to release about 615 new books. Since Arcadia’s titles are heavily illustrated, it has been cautious in moving them into digital format and, at the present time, only about 4,000 of its titles are available as e-books.
PJ Norlander, marketing director, said that as the technology improves, Arcadia will continue to make more titles available as e-books. Alternatively, nearly all of History Press’ titles are already sold as e-books.
The sale of the U.S. arm of The History Press Ltd. will have no impact on its U.K. business. "We are enormously proud of the fine company we have built together in just a few short years," said Stuart Biles, chief executive of The History Press Ltd., speaking about the company's U.S. division. "We're extremely sad to see the business leave our group, but have to recognize the significant benefits which will be achieved by joining History Press Inc. with Arcadia, both creatively and operationally."