In a deal that increases its international footprint, HarperCollins has agreed to acquire three children’s book publishing operations currently owned by Danish publisher Egmont. The acquisition is expected to be completed by April 30. Under the agreement, HC will buy Egmont Books UK, Egmont’s book business in Poland, and the German unit Schneiderbuch. Egmont’s magazine publishing operations are not part of the deal.
HC executives said Egmont’s strength in the children’s licensing business was one of the keys to the acquisition. “Egmont’s expertise in the children's book market and position as a global player in licensed publishing, combined with HarperCollins global footprint will be the cornerstone for building and growing our worldwide strength in children’s publishing,” Chantal Restivo-Alessi, CEO of international foreign language and chief digital officer at HarperCollins Publishers, said in a statement. Egmont’s licensing partners include Disney, Mattel, Hasbro, Mojang, and Roblox.
“The acquisition of Egmont will give us a huge opportunity to combine their existing profile and expertise in the U.K. and in Europe with the licensing experience and capability we already have in Suzanne Murphy’s HarperCollins U.S. children’s business,” Charlie Redmayne, CEO of HarperCollins UK, observed. “This will enable us to unlock the potential of licensed publishing across the broadest international reach.” Egmont UK properties include Winnie-the-Pooh, Thomas the Tank Engine, Tintin, and Mr Men.
Following completion of the purchase, Egmont Books UK will be run as a distinct children’s division led by Cally Polak, the managing director of Egmont UK, HarperCollins said. In Germany, Schneiderbuch will be integrated into the children's books group, and its brass will report to Carina Mathern, editorial director of HarperCollins Germany Children's Books. Egmont Books Poland will report through Agnieszka Baranska, managing director of HarperCollins Poland.