Hachette UK buys education publisher John Catt

Hachette UK buys education publisher John Catt

Hachette UK has bought John Catt Educational for an undisclosed sum in a deal that sees it become part of Hodder Education Group.

John Catt will continue to operate from its offices in Woodbridge, Suffolk, led by its existing management team of Alex Sharratt, Jonathan Barnes and James Rudge. The team plans to “grow the list significantly over the next few years, both in output and reach, and will continue to expand its successful range of resources both in print and online”. Hodder said no other roles were affected by the purchase.

The education resource specialist has been operating for more than 60 years, initially providing school guides for the independent sector. More recently it has developed a professional development list with a wide range of leading practitioners from across UK education as its authors.

Hodder Education m.d. Lis Tribe said: “Hodder Education’s stated intent is to make a difference in the classroom and our strategy involves expanding beyond curriculum resources to assessment, professional development and more. We look forward to accelerating these aims with John Catt through cross-fertilisation of our curriculum and professional development resources, and developing a strong and shared reputation for materials that have a positive impact in the classroom."

She added: “I am personally delighted that Alex, Jonathan and James have decided to entrust their company to Hachette and Hodder Education, and I am very much looking forward to working with them as we learn from each other in making a difference in education.”

The directors of John Catt commented: "We’re very excited to be joining the Hodder Education Group. We’re proud of the strong brand and reputation that we have built at John Catt and we feel that partnering with Lis and her team can take our progress and achievements to even greater heights, both in print and digital, in the UK and internationally. We’re very much looking forward to getting started and working together to showcase the work of our fantastic authors and collaborators."

In January 2021 John Catt reported an 84% increase in book sales revenue for the year ending 31st August 2020. Total turnover, including revenue from sales of other professional development resources to schools, climbed 53% from £1.7m to £2.7m, the publisher said.

The company had predicted further growth this year with book sales revenue for the first quarter up 25% against the same point in 2020.

Sharratt said at the time: “The time and resources that we have invested in securing the best authors in our sector is starting to pay off for us now. Our brand recognition is really strong; when teachers see a new John Catt book, they have confidence that it can help their teaching.

“Our new US office has signed up some impressive names in North American education and we are looking forward to making significant gains into that market in coming years. Our distribution agreements with Macmillan in the UK and Consortium in the US are ensuring our books are finding their onto the shelves of key booksellers, and that has been a key driver of our growth.”

Hachette's purchase, which comes after it bought Laurence King last year and September's US acquisition of Workman, is one in a string of recent deals by big publishing firms including Bloomsbury's £8.5m acquisition of Head of Zeus and HarperCollins' move for Pavilion.