Birlinn buys Mercat Press

<p>Birlinn has become the biggest creator of Scottish interest books by snapping up Edinburgh rival Mercat Press, reports The Scotsman. The deal, signed on Friday evening for an undisclosed sum, gives Birlinn more than a 1,000 Scottish titles in print, making it the largest publisher of Scottish interest material. According to the newspaper, Birlinn&#39;s managing director Hugh Andrew said it was a major step towards creating a very strong force in Scotland representing local interests. </p><p>He said: &quot;It was something I thought was an obvious match for a long time. It is a very similar list to Birlinn&#39;s in many ways and the author list is very compatible with ours. So there is a lot of synergy between the two companies and my absolute passionate belief is that if Scotland is to compete in the world of publishing it needs to create a critical mass and it&#39;s not actually had that critical mass. It is only by doing this can we survive.</p><p>&quot;We have already seen this week the closure of Fopp, so it&#39;s not easy and we have taken plenty of knocks but we are still here.&quot;</p>