Zondervan Publishing has signed a letter of intent to acquire Gold 'n' Honey, the children's division of Multnomah Publishers. Terms of the deal, which is set to close June 1, were not disclosed. The sale includes the transfer of the Gold 'n' Honey Web site and related trademarks.

Gold 'n' Honey publishes 25 to 30 new titles each year and has a backlist of about 150. The line will become part of Zonderkidz, Zondervan's children's division that was formed last year. The acquisition is "in perfect alignment with the mission of Zonderkidz," according to Zondervan president Bruce Ryskamp. The company will retain the Gold 'n' Honey name for at least a year.

Since Multnomah employees who worked in the children's division were also involved in other areas, no layoffs are expected. Donald Jacobson, Multnomah president, said the proceeds from the sale will be used to sharpen the company's focus on titles in the areas of Christian living, adult fiction, women's fiction and gift products. According to Jacobson, Multnomah's book sales have increased 77% over the last two years. In recent months, the company has added more staff, made investments in new technology and launched a new Web site.

Zonderkidz has been enjoying strong growth as well. Sales are running 40% ahead of last year, led by the children's edition of the New International Reader's Version of the Bible.