McGraw-Hill Education Acquired

After a yearlong process, McGraw-Hill Cos. has agreed to sell McGraw-Hill Education to the private equity group Apollo Global Management for $2.5 billion. MHC hopes to complete the deal before the end of the year or in early 2013. Under pressure to improve its share price, MHC began exploring ways to divest itself of the education and publishing group in September 2011 to focus on its financial businesses. The original plan had involved spinning off MHE into its own company, but MHC also talked to a number of potential suitors before signing the deal with Apollo.

S&S Creates Self-Publishing Unit

Through a partnership with Author Solutions Inc., S&S has formed Archway Publishing, a unit that will offer self-publishing services in fiction, nonfiction, business, and children’s categories with the back-end powered by ASI, the self-publishing provider acquired by Pearson/Penguin earlier this year. S&S hopes to differentiate Archway from other self-publishing programs by offering some exclusive options that include a “concierge service” for authors.

Amazon Expands in Europe

Vicky Griffith, publisher of Amazon’s West Coast group, will be relocating in 2013 from Seattle to Amazon Publishing in Europe’s headquarters in Luxembourg. In the U.S., Larry Kirshbaum, publisher of the East Coast group, will now assume editorial leadership for the Seattle and New York adult imprints, as well as Amazon Children’s Publishing. As part of the European expansion, Amazon Publishing will add a staff of editors and marketers, and will focus on expanding its English-language audience.

Jacks Thomas To Head LBF

Reed Exhibitions has appointed Jacks Thomas, joint CEO of Midas Public Relations, as senior exhibition director for the London Book Fair.

RH Launches Digital-Only Imprints

Random House plans to launch three new digital-only imprints—Alibi, a mystery-thriller line; Flirt, a YA/New Adult list; and Hydra, a science fiction line—in addition to expanding the reach of the Loveswept digital romance imprint. The digital-only imprints will be directed by Allison Dodson, v-p, digital publishing director; Scott Shannon, senior v-p, publisher, digital content; and Matt Schwartz, v-p, director of digital strategy.