Even with the current weak state of the German book market, U.K.—based Bloomsbury Publishing has acquired Berlin Verlag from its founder, Arnulf Conradi, for an undisclosed price.
The acquisition combines two literary-minded houses that often have published the works of the same authors in their respective countries, and the purchase will deepen that practice. "Through Berlin Verlag we will publish in German many of the key authors that Bloomsbury publishes elsewhere in the English language," said Bloomsbury chairman Nigel Newton.
Bloomsbury plans to quickly expand Berlin Verlag's publishing program by starting a children's list. In addition, Dorothee Grisebach, former head of the paperback division of Droemer/Knauer, who has been acquiring titles for Bloomsbury to publish in Germany, will join Berlin Verlag's editorial team to acquire titles to be published by that division. Conradi will remain managing director. Berlin Verlag publishes about 30 hardcovers and 72 paperbacks annually and has a backlist of 350 titles; it has net assets of about 3.3 million euros ($3.6 million).
Newton acknowledged that the German book market is slumping, but said, "The long-term fundamentals of the market are among the best in the world. We have been looking for some years to establish ourselves in Germany."