Bloomsbury acquires Hart Publishing for £6.5m

Bloomsbury acquires Hart Publishing for £6.5m

Bloomsbury has acquired legal publisher Hart Publishing for £6.5m.

The addition of Hart titles should have a direct impact on Bloomsbury’s total revenue, contributing £1.4m to its financial results for the year ending 28th February 2014, the company said.

Hart Publishing was paid for in cash from Bloomsbury’s cash reserves.

The acquisition is consistent with Bloomsbury’s strategy to increase academic and professional revenues to 50% of its total sales in five years’ time.

Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury c.e.o., said: "The acquisition of Hart increases our presence in the academic and professional market and is a significant step forward in achieving our ambition of generating 50% of turnover from this important sector. It is complementary to, and will substantially enhance, Bloomsbury Professional, in particular increasing the division's international sales.

“Our growing proportion of academic and professional revenues will increase profit margins and give our results more stability. The mix of digital and subscription based services that can be built out of the acquisition are hugely exciting and will provide good financial returns."

Jonathan Glasspool, m.d. of Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, told The Bookseller that all 15 members of Hart staff would continue to be employed at the company, which will also remain based in Oxford. The founders, Richard and Jane Hart, would retire from the company within six months, he said. Glasspool said Hart had 900 titles and published around 150 new books a year.

On top of the £6.5m Bloomsbury paid for Hart outright, a further cash consideration of up to a maximum of £0.5m will be paid if the titles achieve a certain revenue and number of titles for the period ending 31st March 2014.

Hart was founded in 1996 and generated a revenue of £2.6m and £0.5m of profit before tax in the year ended 31st March 2013.

Richard Hart, m.d. of Hart Publishing, said: "Hart has a leading position in academic legal publishing, with a thriving backlist, a huge number of authors who are leading authorities in their field, a dynamic digital programme, and—above all—an excellent team in Oxford. I am delighted that Hart is finding a new home with Bloomsbury, a company we all admire.”