Consortium Buys Thomson Learning
Apax Partners, one of the largest private equity firms in the country, and OMERS, a Canadian pension fund, have signed an agreement to acquire Thomson Learning, the educational and reference group of Thomson Corp., for $7.75 billion in cash. The acquisition, which is expected to close in the third quarter, will include Wadsworth, Delmar Learning, Gale, Heinle, Brooks/Cole and South-Western. Nelson Canada, a Canadian educational publisher, will be majority owned by OMERS. Thomson Learning had sales of $2.4 billion in 2006 and operating profits of $383 million.
Pearson Buys Some Harcourt Assets
Pearson has agreed to pay $950 million to acquire the testing and international groups of Harcourt from Reed Elsevier (the parent company of PW). The two groups, Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International, had sales of $524 million last year and operating profits of $31 million. The acquisition does not include Harcourt's American basal and supplementary groups or Harcourt Trade.
HC Rebounds in Third Quarter
Operating profit rose 11% in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 at HarperCollins, to $29 million. Revenue in the quarter was up 5.8%, to $291 million. The profit gain came after two down periods, due in part to the AMS bankruptcy; profits for the first nine months of the year were down 20%, and revenue was flat at just over $1 billion. HC received a boost in the quarter from the Oprah Book Club selection of Sidney Poitier's The Measure of a Man.
Amazon Deepens 'Potter' Discount
Amazon started selling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at $17.99 last week, a 49% discount off the list price. Amazon had been selling the title at $18.99. Also last week, pre-orders for the title topped one million.
Soft '07 at EDC
Revenue at Educational Development Corp. dipped 1% in the year ended February 28, to $31.4 million. Earnings were flat, at $2.4 million. Fourth-quarter revenue was even, at $7 million, and profits fell to $488,000 from $519,000.
S&S Launches Video Channel
Simon & Schuster has teamed with the Internet video company TurnHere Inc. to launch a “book-centric video channel” that will promote S&S authors and their books. Bookvideos.tv will begin in early June, and the videos will also be available at SimonSays.com, YouTube and the authors' own Web sites.
U.S. Adds $110 Million to Lagardère
Total revenue at Lagardère's Publishing division, Hachette Livres, jumped 29% in the first quarter, to 411.2 million euros ($546 million), the French publisher reported this morning. Revenue includes 83 million euros ($110 million) from the former Time Warner Book Group, which Lagardère bought on March 31, 2006. .