Gullane Entertainment has acquired Guinness World Records for £45.5 million ($64.5 million) in cash, approximately twice GWR's 2000 revenues of £23 million. Gullane, formerly the Britt Allcroft Co., has built up a stable of bankable characters, including Thomas the Tank Engine and Captain Pugwash, since its flotation in 1996; the family entertainment studio has a history of successful brand management and exploitation in film and television.
Guinness World Records represents the second publishing acquisition for Gullane this year, following the purchase of David and Charles's children's division in February, which will enable Gullane to develop its own book titles and new characters (News, Feb. 5). William Harris, chief executive of Gullane, is very excited at the prospect of increasing the GWR reference book's reach worldwide and televising more record-breaking events: "Intellectual property like this does not come up very often. It's a global brand and that's why we were so keen to get hold of it." GWR was put up for sale by its parent company in March (News, Apr. 2).