Hachette's Octopus Publishing Group has bought Lewes-based illustrated reference publisher Ilex.
Ilex will become an imprint of Octopus, with its titles distributed from the LBS warehouse at Littlehampton. Ilex founder and publisher Alastair Campbell is retiring, but there will be no other redundancies, with all publishing staff transferring to London.
Ilex is known for its expertise in photography and the visual media, producing illustrated reference titles on creativity and popular culture. Its list includes titles by photographer Michael Freeman, author of The Photographer's Eye and The Complete Guide to Digital Photography, and the 2013 Christmas hit The 1000 Dot to Dot Book by Thomas Pavitte.
Octopus chief executive Alison Goff said: "We have long admired the Ilex list for its quality and creativity. The titles Ilex publish are essential reference for anyone working in the field of new media design and we look forward to working with the many talented authors and photographers on the list." She added: "The move to Octopus Publishing Group will provide the Ilex list with a strong, stable base from which to continue publishing successfully into the UK and international markets, whilst affording the future business the opportunity to expand its publishing activity in North America."
Campbell said: "Althought I am retiring from The Ilex Press the company I co-founded with Jenny Manstead and Peter Bridgewater 15 years ago, I am convinced that with the resources of a larger group the list will continue to go from strength to strength and the excellent team which has consistently produced innovative books of exceptional quality will further address the needs of the creative community in the modern digital era."
Ilex has registered sales of just under £6m through the Nielsen Bookscan TCM since 2003. Last year (2013), they took £657,110, up 0.9% on the previous year (2012).