HarperCollins, the second largest trade publisher in the U.S., has completed its acquisition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media. HC, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, agreed to buy the HMH trade division in March for $349 million.
In a letter to employees, HC CEO Brian Murray acknowledged that "many" decisions need to be made over the coming months surrounding the acquisition. Still, he noted that he has outlined an initial, temporary organizational plan that will be kept in place until a new, permanent structure has been conceived.
Under that structure, Ed Spade, who took over as head of HMH trade following the departure of Ellen Archer last November, will report to Murray. On the editorial side, Deb Brody, v-p and publisher for HMH Adult Trade, will report to Liate Stehlik, president and publisher of the Morrow Group. Cat Onder, senior v-p and publisher of HMH Books for Young Readers, will report to Suzanne Murphy, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books.
In other appointments, Scott Simpson, HMH's director of distribution, will report to John Reindl, HC's senior v-p of warehouse and fulfillment for North America. The customer experience, global supply, and inventory planning teams will now report to Larry Nevins, HC's executive v-p of operations. The rest of the HMH Books & Media leadership team will continue to report to Spade.
"Like HarperCollins, HMH has a long and storied history of publishing award-winning authors," Murray wrote, adding that he believes that "there are many outstanding titles—from children’s classics to contemporary fiction and lifestyle works—that can benefit from our combined experience and global reach." He continued: "I look forward to working closely with Ed and the entire HMH Books & Media team to see how we can share best practices for the mutual benefit of our combined organizations. We will continue to provide additional information about the transition as we work together to integrate our businesses."
Despite some thoughts that the ongoing review of Penguin Random House's pending purchase of Simon & Schuster may delay approval of the HMHM acquisition, the deal was approved quickly. The PRH-S&S deal is still expected to be completed sometime this year.