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RH Acquires Harold Shaw
-- 1/31/00

Random House has added Harold Shaw Publishers to its religious publishing holdings. Shaw, based in Wheaton, Ill., will become an imprint of Random's WaterBrook Press unit. Terms of the deal, finalized January 25, were not disclosed.

Founded in 1968, Shaw has a well-regarded backlist of about 300 titles that will complement the three-year-old WaterBrook's frontlist program, according to a Random spokesperson. Shaw's top-selling series is its Fisherman Bible Studyguide line, which has sold more than 3.3 million books. Madeleine L'Engle, Lewis B. Smedes, Lloyd J. Ogilvie and Luci Shaw are among the publisher's bestselling authors. Dan Rich, president and publisher of WaterBrook, told PW the addition of Shaw "significantly enhances WaterBrook's prominence in the CBA market."

WaterBrook has published more than 125 titles since its launch. Among its bestselling authors are Kay Arthur, Liz Curtis Higgs, Randy Alcorn and Ron Mehl. RH chairman and CEO Peter Olson said the Shaw purchase will help Random meet the growing demand for quality spiritual works.

Random will move Shaw's offices to WaterBrook's Colorado offices. Shaw publisher Stephen Board, who has owned Harold Shaw since 1990, will be leaving the company; a number of Shaw's editors and other key employees will relocate, but the majority of Shaw's employees will not be joining Random.

This is Random's second significant niche purchase since its acquisition by Bertelsmann. Last July, the company acquired Listening Library (News, July 12, 1999).
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