In a deal that almost doubles its annual title production, Rockport Publishers has acquired the how-to line of Creative Publishing international.

The purchase includes the rights to the Creative name, but does not include Creative's wildlife imprint, NorthWord Press, or its children's unit, Two-Can, which CPi bought in September 2002. Rockport paid $10.8 million in cash and notes for the assets, which generated sales of $18.3 million in 2003.

Dalyn Miller, director of marketing for Rockport, said there will be few changes at Creative. Linda Ball will remain as publisher and Kevin Haas will continue to serve as sales director. The company's offices will remain in Minneapolis. Most of the staff will also remain, and Creative will continue to publish about 50 titles per year in the home improvement, home decorating and outdoors categories. CPi has a backlist of about 300 titles. CPi will continue to handle its own distribution, while Rockport will continue to be distributed by F&W Publications.

The CPi acquisition is the first independent purchase made by Rockport, which is a division of the U.K.—based Quarto Group. Headquartered in Gloucester, Mass., Rockport Publishers comprises the flagship Rockport imprint, Fair Winds Press and the Quarry Books imprint, which was launched this spring to publish general reference works in crafts, home decorating, pet care and personal improvement. The U.K. publishers RotoVision and Apple Press are also part of Rockport.

The purchase of CPi is in keeping with Quarto's strategy of expanding through internal growth and through acquisitions, and Quarto chairman Laurence Orbach said the company is "continuing to investigate further acquisition opportunities."

Executives at CPi did not return calls at press time concerning the future of NorthWord and Two-Can.