Hodder Education has acquired independent publisher Rising Stars, which publishes curriculum, assessment and revision resources for primary schools.
Rising Stars will retain its imprints and branding and Andrea Carr, founder and m.d., and her team of 28 staff will remain with the business.
Carr will also take overall responsibility for Hodder Primary publishing, including Rising Stars.
The acquisition will triple Hodder Education’s primary turnover, said parent company Hachette UK, and make it a “significant player in the primary market”.
Lis Tribe, m.d. of Hodder Education, said: “Rising Stars strengths make an ideal complement to Hodder Education’s primary publishing, building in particular on existing revision and assessment offers.
“The acquisition takes Hodder Education a significant step forward in its strategic intent to develop and grow its position in primary markets both in the UK and internationally.
“I have known and admired Andrea for several years, and have long held a wish that we could work more closely together. Hodder Education and Rising Stars are both successful businesses which have been performing strongly in relation to the market in recent years; I look forward to working with Andrea to ensure we continue to do just that.”
Hodder Education’s print sales, through Nielsen BookScan for 2014 up to 29th November, were over £9.3m while Rising Stars’ were just under £360,000. The majority of Rising Stars' sales are institutional, not registered by Nielsen BookScan. Total turnover for Rising Stars in 2014 was just over £10.7m including direct school sales, trade and international, said the company.
Rising Stars was founded by Carr in 2002, and publishes teaching and learning resources for primary schools. The company specialises in curriculum and assessment materials in both print and digital and has recently developed a range of materials for the teaching of computing, in association with Computing At School, NAACE – an organisation which promotes the use of technology in learning – and Microsoft. Rising Stars resources are used by more than 8,000 schools in England.
Carr said: “I'm really proud of what's been achieved, and there are some very ambitious plans for the development of Rising Stars going forward. I have huge respect for Hodder Education and their approach to educational publishing; becoming part of it will allow Rising Stars to continue to do what it does so well, but it will also provide it with the support it needs to grow into a significant primary education business around the world, not just here in the UK.
“The Rising Stars and Hodder teams have already worked very happily together on various projects in recent years and the coming together of the two businesses is a great outcome for all of us. I'm delighted by this development, and I look forward to working on our exciting plans for the future.”
Hachette did not comment on how much it had purchased Rising Stars for.
Natalina Bertoli, managing partner of Bertoli Mitchell LLP, a company which advises on mergers and acquisitions in the publishing and digital information industries, said: “It has been a privilege to represent such a dynamic and successful company as Rising Stars. We are delighted to have worked with its exceptionally talented management team to complete a transaction in which our client finds such a good home in Hodder Education.”
Rising Stars will remain in its current building in Bermondsey Street, London, until the Hachette companies move to their new premises on Victoria Embankment, at which point it will join them.