Bloomsbury most likely contender in Osprey sale

Bloomsbury most likely contender in Osprey sale

The remaining divisions of the Osprey Group are to be sold off, with the most likely buyer being Bloomsbury, The Bookseller understands.

The Oxford-based independent publisher jettisoned its mind, body & spirit arm Watkins, SFF imprint Angry Robot and cookbook department Nourish to US entrepreneur and owner of Watkins Books, Etan Ilfeld last week (2nd October).

Administrators Alcuin Capital Partners LLP handled the sale and at the time, Richard Sullivan, m.d. of Osprey, said the deal was done “reluctantly…to protect the remaining parts of the group—Osprey Publishing, Shire and Old House Books and British Wildlife Publishing—which remain profitable, independent businesses.”

He also indicated that “for both Osprey and Shire, we want to move forward from this change, focusing on our successful series publishing, hardback and gift book programmes, and to grow organically into newer areas such as games.”

However, The Bookseller understands that the rest of the Osprey Group is also up for sale, with speculation that both Bloomsbury and Hachette were in the running to acquire it—with Bloomsbury marked as the preferred vendor.

Neither Bloomsbury, Sullivan, Osprey chairman Robin Black nor Alcuin Capital would respond to requests for details of the sale.

Black launched a strategic review into Osprey in June, which he said could include “all or any part of the business”, after c.e.o. Rebecca Smart left to become managing director of Ebury.