Keen Communications, which has offices in Birmingham, Ala. and Covington, Ky., has acquired Adventure Publications, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Minn. Effective today, the company will be known as AdventureKEEN, and Richard Hunt, Keen Communications’ president, will be the president of the newly formed company. Adventure Publications’ co-founder Gerri Slabaugh will continue as a consultant for AdventureKEEN during a six-month transition period before she retires; co-publisher Gordon Slabaugh is retiring with the sale.
Keen Publications, launched in 2006 by Hunt and Menasha Ridge's Bob Sehlinger, is known for its travel and outdoor adventure books, and publishes titles under six imprints. Founded in 1988, Adventure Publications, which will become the company's seventh and largest imprint, has more than 450 titles in its backlist. Adventure Publications is best-known for its birding books, as well as for its full-color field guides for plants, animals, and other natural phenomena.
“Even if we’d tried, I don’t think there could have been a more perfect merger,” Hunt said. “The lists are so complementary. There’s no duplication or cannibalization in the titles, they all just pair up perfectly.”
Adventure will maintain its offices in Cambridge, where 15 employees currently work. Julie Arthur will direct AdventureKEEN's sales efforts out of the Cambridge office. AdventureKEEN will also continue to distribute books for about a half-dozen small regional presses that have been distributed by Adventure.
“We’re familiar with separate offices,” Hunt, who works out of Covington, noted. “We’re comfortable being on the phone and visiting the different offices.” Keen has 14 employees total in its Birmingham and Covington offices.
Hunt disclosed that the deal has been in the works for almost a year, but declined to disclose the financial terms of the consolidation.
PGW will continue to distribute to the trade the six imprints that comprised Keen Communications, while AdventureKEEN's Adventure Publications imprint will be self-distributed "for the time being," Hunt says, out of the Cambridge office.