All 190 staff at Nelson Thornes are set to go into consultation over their jobs as the educational publisher prepares to “formally integrate” into Oxford University Press early next year.
Employees from both companies will be combined into a single structure as part of the transfer, with Nelson Thornes' Cheltenham office expected to close in early 2015. Its Newcastle base, employing only a handful of people, is expected to remain open, however.
OUP said it was currently unable to confirm how many positions will be affected. A spokesperson said: “Creating a combined structure will result in a lot of changes for employees, and it is possible that there will be some redundancies. The detailed plans of our combined structures have not yet been finalised, and consultations with staff have not yet taken place. We are therefore unable to give specific details at this time.”
The publisher added: “We will try to find suitable employment for any impacted employees within the combined structure, and where possible will provide the opportunity for them to work in the Cheltenham office while it remains open.”
OUP acquired Nelson Thornes in January, saying at the time that the educational publisher would operate as a standalone subsidiary. The acquisition was given the all-clear by the Office of Fair Trading four months later.
However, OUP has now announced that Nelson Thornes will join the wider group as part of OUP’s Oxford Education division. From early 2014 its titles will be published under the OUP imprint and will be sold and distributed alongside OUP resources. Its secondary education brand, Kerboodle, will be adopted across all OUP’s secondary digital publishing.
Kate Harris, managing director of Oxford Education, said: “Nelson Thornes has a wealth of excellent print and digital materials, which add breadth and additional quality to the OUP range. With our combined resources we will be able to provide unprecedented support for teachers and students in pursuit of our mission.”
Richard Hodson, managing director of Nelson Thornes, added: “Today marks the next step in our future as part of OUP. Our priority will be to manage the transition very closely—ensuring a smooth process for employees, and giving customers continued access to the widest range of resources.”