Arcadia Press escapes administration

Arcadia Press escapes administration

Arcadia Books has been rescued from administration by a media facilitator called MediaFund, with the independent press bringing over 90% of its author list.

As previously reported in The Bookseller, a photographer called Basil Hyman had bought the company in October. When the deal fell through “at the eleventh hour”, MediaFund founder Piers Russell-Cobb stepped in to acquire it, according to publisher Gary Pulsifer, who has been rehired to his role as publisher.

Andrew Gifford, a primary investor in 4th Estate and Arcadia, will publish 12 new titles and 12 reprints this year, beginning in May with Peter Millar’s Slow Train to Guantanamo and then Norweigan author Gunnar Staalesen’s Cold Hearts.

Pulsifer said: “We are bringing something like 90-95% of our authors with us, most of them have come back to us and said ‘yes’, although we have lost a few. I am very grateful for the loyalty and support that almost all of our authors have shown us.”

Arcadia’s new management team features chairman Sean O’Connor; managing director Piers Russell-Cobb; finance director Ian Metcalfe; legal director Nine Peregrine-Jones; and Pulsifer. Arcadia’s UK sales will be handled by Faber and its UK distribution by Macmillan.

MediaFund was founded in 1991 by Russell-Cobb and works to aid media mergers and acquisitions.

Pulsifer said: “I am very pleased to be working with Faber, I think it is one of the most exciting independent publishers operating in the UK at the moment.”

He added: “I'm delighted that Piers quickly stepped in to rescue the company and that we are carrying on business as usual. Business as usual means continuing to publish award-winning quality literature from around the world and further developing our EuroCrime series.

Russell-Cobb said that there was "ever-lasting appeal" in Arcadia’s authors. He added: “MediaFund has put together collections which have sold tens of millions of books through the news trade and I am generally optimistic about the book market, especially now that new audiences can read titles either by paying for the entire download or by paying in installments for what they actually read. I am excited to play a part in continuing the 18-year tradition of a respected literary house.”