Bonnier sells US children’s publisher Little Bee Books

Bonnier sells US children’s publisher Little Bee Books

Swedish publishing conglomerate Bonnier has sold US children’s publisher Little Bee Books to its founding executive management.

Little Bee Books c.e.o. Shimul Tolia and c.f.o. Thomas Morgan acquired the New York-based company for an undisclosed amount.

“Bonnier is thrilled to let Little Bee Books grow further under the wings of its founding executives. We have no doubt that their continued commitment will ensure a bright and successful future for the company,” said Magnus Brundin, director of corporate development at Bonnier.

Little Bee Books was launched by Tolia and Morgan in 2014 as a children’s publishing start-up for Bonnier and has published authors including Carole Boston Weatherford and created licensing programmes for Crayola and Nickelodeon.

No staff changes are planned and the company will still be distributed by Simon & Schuster. 

Little Bee Books, Weldon Owen and more recently US teams for Igloo Books and Bonnier Zaffre made up Bonnier Publishing USA, which was created by former UK c.e.o. Richard Johnson in 2016.

At the time, Johnson said he had "an ambitious programme for growth" and wanted to increase revenue from $40m (£30.8m) to $100m (£77m) in the US by the end of 2019. However, less than two years later he stood down from his position in February last year after his expansion plans led to profitability problems within the company.

In March Bonnier restructured its business in Australia, closing its local children's publishing arm and all but one of its 36 staff were entered into redundancy consultations.

Weldon Owen was sold to Insight Editions in August 2018 and a spokesperson confirmed the US teams for Igloo Books and Bonnier Zaffre are still part of Bonnier Books UK.