Oneworld has acquired The Panama Papers: How the World's Rich and Powerful Hide their Money, described as one of the “hottest” books at London Book Fair with eight deals concluded in the last week.
As the “definitive” account of the Panama Papers, the book has been written by the two German-based Süddeutsche Zeitung journalists who were first contacted by the anonymous whistle-blower.
On the last day of the fair, Alex Christofi, senior commissioning editor at Oneworld, bought world English rights to The Panama Papers: How the World's Rich and Powerful Hide their Money by Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer. Rights were acquired from Tanja Howarth of the Tanja Howarth Literary Agency on behalf of Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch at auction.
Christofi said: “I knew the moment I heard about this book that Oneworld had to publish it. This is the biggest leak in history, and one of the most significant, considering the number of powerful people involved: forty-two current or ex-heads of state; oligarchs; royalty; mafia; dare I say even FIFA officials. Obermaier and Obermayer vividly depict the shock of the moment they realised they could hold the global super-rich to account.”
The authors worked on the cache of 11.5m documents for over a year in secrecy, distributing the data to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which includes journalists from the Guardian, the BBC and Le Monde.
The German edition is currently number two in Der Spiegel in its first week of publication, with a first printing of 50,000 copies. Four translators will work simultaneously for a June 2016 publication in trade paperback.