U.K-based Bloomsbury Publishing has expanded its presence in the U.S. with the acquisition of the academic and reference publisher ABC-CLIO for a purchase price of $22.9 million. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO had sales of $14.7 million in 2020 and pre-tax profit of $1.2 million.
In addition to meeting Bloomsbury’s goal of expanding in the U.S., the purchase meets another Bloomsbury objective—to grow its academic business. ABC-CLIO’s focus is on reference and nonfiction books and online curriculum and professional development materials in both print and digital formats for schools, academic libraries, and public libraries. It has four imprints and 32 databases that provide curriculum-aligned content and lesson plans, professional development support, and student activities to U.S. schools and academic institutions. It has more than 23,000 titles in its portfolio.
With the purchase, ABC-CLIO will operate within Bloomsbury’s academic and professional division, and its databases will be included within Bloomsbury digital resources unit. Bloomsbury said that the acquisition will enable it to scale ABC-CLIO’s digital offerings globally.
Commenting on the acquisition, Bloomsbury chief executive Nigel Newton called ABC-CLIO a “strong addition” to Bloomsbury USA, adding that the publisher “significantly grows Bloomsbury’s academic and digital publishing presence in North America [and] opens new markets and publishing areas to Bloomsbury.” ABC-CLIO is expected to contribute approximately $2.7 million in revenue and give a small boost to profits in Bloomsbury fiscal year ending February 28, 2022.
ABC-CLIO was founded in 1955 by Eric and Inge Boehm and has been led by Becky Snyder, ABC-CLIO president. “We are excited to be joining the team at Bloomsbury; a company we greatly respect and whose values and mission align with ours,” Snyder said in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunity Bloomsbury brings us, to significantly expand our reach in shaping education through innovative products that support research and learning.”
ABC-CLIO is Bloomsbury’s third acquisition in fiscal 2022, following the purchase of Head of Zeus in June and the April acquisition of Red Globe Publishing from Macmillan Education Ltd.