Hardie Grant to launch UK arm

<p>Australian independent publisher Hardie Grant Books is to launch a new company in London. Jane Aspden, former managing director of Mitchell Beazley in the UK, has been appointed the founding m.d. and publisher and will be building a team over the next few months.</p><p>The company hopes to build its own &quot;diverse and innovative non-fiction list&quot;, as well as promoting those Australian titles suitable for the UK and European market. Aspden said: &quot;We have a few titles in hand and are looking to build a list of 10 to 20 titles a year as soon as is practicable. The independent sector is thriving and we see this as a great opportunity to participate with a slightly different type of list.&quot; The business will be sold and distributed by Abrams and GBS.<br /><br />Hardie Grant Publishing founder and chief executive Sandy Grant added: &quot;We realise it is a difficult time at the moment, but we have confidence in the future and our ability to carve out a market share in a competitive business. Our investment now will be launched in to a market that is a more stable one than 2009. I have every confidence that books and their digital equivalent will remain what they always have been &ndash; a difficult, competitive but exciting business.&quot;</p><p>Founded in 1997 by former Reed Books boss Sandy Grant, along with four colleagues. The Hardie Grant Group now includes Hardie Grant Books, an adult non-fiction book publisher; Explore Australia, a specialist Australian travel and guide business; Hardie Grant Egmont, a joint venture with Egmont Books Ltd UK; and Hardie Grant Magazines. The business based in Melbourne employs over 100 people and publishes in excess of 100 titles a year as well as 20 magazines.<br /><br /><br />&nbsp;<br /></p>