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More detail on Guinness sale
20.02.08 | John Ryan
Canadian conglomerate The Jim Pattison Group has acquired Guinness World Records from Hit Entertainment in a deal believed to value the company at around £60m. Guinness World Records will be run by JPG subsidiary Ripley Entertainment, which already owns and manages the globally syndicated "Believe It or Not!" television show and associated spin-off books.
It also operates 30 Ripley's Believe It or Not museums, dubbed "Odditoriums", including a nascent 25,000 sq ft museum which will open in London's Trocadero later this year. Guinness itself runs six Guinness World Record attractions in four countries, as well as publishing its Guinness World Records book, which brings in the majority of its revenues, and producing television programmes based on its world records. It is also adding a new computer games records annual to its single-volume stable, the Gamer's Edition, in March.
Although both organizations were tight-lipped about the sum changing hands, JPG will be taking possession of an outfit which garnered sales of £14.71m in the year to 31st July 2007, up from £14.36m the previous year. Profit for Guinness fell over the period from £4.63m to £3.94m, and Guinness said at the time that it was facing "competition in the US and Canada from Ripley's Believe It or Not, which targets the same general audience".
Ripley Entertaiment president Jim Pattison Jr, son of the eponymous group's founder, said that "no other enterprise collects, confirms, accredits and presents world record data with the same investment in comprehensiveness and authenticity" as Guinness. He added: "The coming together of Guinness World Records and Ripley's Believe It or Not! creates an historic combination of the world-leading authorities on records and record-breaking, and all that is unbelievable."