Management buyout for The History Press

Management buyout for The History Press

Gloucestershire-based publisher The History Press has been acquired in a management buyout from previous owners private equity firm Octopus Investments. In a simultaneous but separate transaction, The History Press imprint Pitkin Publishing has been sold to Pavilion Books.

THP finance director Gareth Swain, strategic development director Laura Perehinec and local history publisher Jamie Kinnear have bought The History Press for an undisclosed sum from Octopus Investments, which has owned it for 10 years.

Managing director Tim Davies did not participate in the management buyout and as a result has left the business after a short handover period. Davies joined the company in 2011 and was made m.d. in 2013. He is succeeded by Swain, who will now become managing director, with Perehinec becoming publishing director and Kinnear taking up the role of sales director.

Swain said: "The team is looking forward to leading The History Press through the next phase of its development, continuing the progress of recent years and cementing its position as a vibrant, creative and truly independent publishing house."

The History Press was created in 2007, backed by Octopus Investments, from the amalgamation of a number of smaller publishing houses that formed part of the NPI Media Group.

Davies added: "I’ve been proud to be associated with the team (authors and staff) at The History Press. It’s great to see how the business has evolved over the last six years, and I wish all those involved every success in the future."

Recent results for the publisher filed at Companies House show that the publishing group reported a pre-tax loss of £2.302m in the year to 31st December 2015, down further from £1.579m pre-tax loss in 2014. Group turnover was £4.806m, down on £7.774m in 2014.

Meanwhile in a simultaneous but separate transaction, The History Press imprint Pitkin Publishing has been sold to Pavilion Books.

Following the acquisition, Pitkin will become an imprint of Pavilion Books and will be run from the Pavilion office in central London. Susan Swalwell will continue in her role as publisher at Pitkin and the two of Pitkin's staff members - Stephen Price and Jane Robertson - will also be moving to London to work on the Pitkin imprint under Pavilion. One further member of staff was offered a position but chose not to relocate to London.

The heritage and illustrated guidebook imprint publishes approximately 30 new titles per year and has a backlist of around 600 titles.

Polly Powell, m.d. of Pavilion Books, said: "I was first introduced to the team at Pitkin some 10 years ago and was impressed then at the nature of their business. Ten years later, we are delighted to welcome Pitkin to the Pavilion family and very much look forward to providing the support and strength that Pavilion can bring to the business."

Susan Swalwell, publisher of Pitkin Guides, added: "This is thrilling news. Being part of Pavilion heralds an exciting new era for Pitkin and we look forward to working together to publish some stunning new heritage guidebooks."

The History Press management buyout team were not immediately available to comment further on the move.