Bloomsbury has bought IB Tauris (IBT), an academic publisher that specializes in Middle East studies, history, politics, and international relations. The price was £5.8 million, of which £4.8 million was satisfied in cash at completion of the deal and up to £1.0 million will be paid post-completion, subject to working capital and other adjustments. IBT joins Bloomsbury's academic and professional division.

Iradj Bagherzade, chairman and publisher, founded IB Tauris in 1983. Based in West London and with an office in New York, the company publishes about 200 new titles a year, and has a backlist of 4,000 titles. Unaudited revenue in 2017 was £4.3 million. About 90% of IBT's sales are in print - "so there is significant potential to grow digital revenues," Bloomsbury commented.

Bloomsbury added that there were opportunities for profit enhancements following the integration of the business, and that it was carrying out a review to determine how best to manage this process. Bagherzade will be publishing director of Bloomsbury's special interest division. Bloomsbury expected the acquisition to make a small profit in its first year, before reorganization and acquisition costs, then be earnings enhancing thereafter. It will contribute about £3.5 million of revenue in the year ending February 28, 2019.

Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury chief executive, said: 'The acquisition of IBT consolidates our significant presence in humanities and social science academic publishing. IBT's complementary lists have good growth potential, especially with their inclusion within Bloomsbury's digital resources strategy. This acquisition represents another key step in our strategy to continue to grow quality recurring revenues through our digital resource offering.'

A version of this story first appeared in BookBrunch.