RBmedia has completed two acquisitions in the audiobook world, one in the U.S. and one in France. Tom MacIsaac, CEO of RBmedia, said the acquisition continues the company’s policy to expand in the U.S. and abroad.
In the U.S. RBmedia acquired the audiobook publishing business of Upfront Books. The publisher has released audiobook editions of works by Andy Grove, Shad Helmstetter, and C. S. Lewis.
Founded in 2019 by Tyler Finkelstein, Upfront’s catalog has an undisclosed number of audiobooks from publishers, independent authors, and literary estates. In prepared comments, Finkelstein said Upfront’s strategy is to use technology to make “high-demand evergreen books more accessible by translating them into audio.”
To fulfill its mandate to grow abroad, RBmedia announced the purchase of French audiobook publisher Éditions Thélème. RBmedia said the company will be home to the existing Éditions Thélème audiobooks catalog and all new French-language titles published by RBmedia in the future. Founded in 1990 by Adeline De Fay, Éditions Thélème specializes in publishing French-language audiobooks in the areas of classic and contemporary literature from such past and present authors as Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Victor Hugo, Plato, and Marcel Proust.
Miles Stevens-Hoare, managing director of RBmedia international, said that the acquisition of Éditions Thélème is in keeping with its strategy of international expansion, and that he purchase will allow RBMedia to take part in the rapidly-growing French audiobook market.
In addition to English, RBmedia, acquired by the private equity firm KKR in 2018, publishes audiobooks in Spanish and German. It now has a total of about 60,000 titles.