Bloomsbury has acquired Osprey Publishing Ltd from private equity company Alcuin Capital Partners for £4.6m.
Bloomsbury paid £3.2m in cash, and issued shares to the value of £1.4m to make the purchase, and will situate the business within Bloomsbury’s Special Interest Publishing, a part of the Adult division.
The Osprey Group consists of Osprey Military, Heritage and Custom Publishing, and British Wildlife Press. It published 212 titles last year in addition to British Wildlife magazine.
Bloomsbury had been seen as the most likely buyer of the remaining business after the Osprey Group's mind, body & spirit arm Watkins, SFF imprint Angry Robot and cookbook department Nourish were sold to US entrepreneur and Watkins Books owner Etan Ilfeld in October, following a "strategic review" of the company in the summer.
Osprey had approximately £0.3m of cash at the time of acquisition. Bloomsbury stated that Osprey generated £7m of revenue and £0.3m of adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation in the year ended 31st December 2013, though those sums are unaudited. Gross assets at that date were £4.5m. Bloomsbury said it expected the acquisition to be "immediately earnings enhancing contributing approximately £1.0 million of revenue to Bloomsbury in the year ending 28 February 2015".
Over 50% of Osprey’s revenue is generated outside the UK, principally in the US.
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury commented: "The acquisition of Osprey increases our presence in niche special interest markets. It is complementary to, and will substantially enhance, our existing lists; in particular increasing the division’s expertise in natural history and military history publishing, as well as international sales.”