Octopus buys Kyle Cathie

Octopus buys Kyle Cathie

Octopus Publishing Group is buying independent cookery publisher Kyle Cathie Ltd, as its managing director of 28 years, Kyle Cathie, prepares to step down.

The purchase take immediate effect, following the signing and completion of an agreement between the shareholders of Kyle Cathie Ltd and Octopus Publishing Group on Tuesday (3rd October).

Founded in 1989 by Cathie, who had previously worked at Pan, Hamish Hamilton and Macmillan, Kyle Books publishes high-quality books in the areas of food, health, gardening and lifestyle. Its annual turnover is £5m. 

All 18 of Kyle Books' staff will ​"continue business as usual" from their offices in Vauxhall Bridge Road in the short term. The long-term plan is to move the business to Octopus' headquarters, a spokesperson for Hachette confirmed.

Cathie will stay on until the end of the year "to ensure a smooth transition for the business", after which she told The Bookseller she wanted to start farming, go travelling and do charity work.

The transaction has been structured as a purchase by Octopus of 100% shareholding in the business, which remains intact as a company.

Hachette emphasised: "All contracts remain valid and will be honoured. There will be no disruption for authors and arrangements with customers, freelancers, distribution partners, suppliers and other contacts of the house stand as they are." At Frankfurt, all appointments will take place on the Kyle Books stand, 6.2, B69.

Tim Hely Hutchinson, c.e.o. of Hachette UK, said Hachette would try to build on the company's "invaluable heritage", praising it for having "one of the finest backlists in the business". Among its backlist are titles such as Jekka’s Complete Herb Book and 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi, both of which have sold over one million copies, as well as the wagamama cookbooks. Recent publishing highlights meanwhile include Darina Allen’s Grow, Cook, Nourish, Ching-He Huang’s Stir Crazy and Alys Fowler’s Plant Love, with its future programme boasting a fitness guide from Dame Kelly Holmes.

Hely Hutchinson said: "I have had immense respect for Kyle and the thoughtful, high quality publishing that has grown to be one of the finest backlists in the business. We shall try to build on this invaluable heritage to enhance further Octopus's special position in British and international markets offering authors and other grantors the finest design and editorial house for illustrated books allied to unrivalled international sales reach. We welcome the whole Kyle Books team to Hachette and look forward to working with the many new talented publishing professionals and authors who are joining us."

Cathie said: “It’s been 28 years of huge fun but it’s now time to go pick daisies. I thank all our staff for their vast contribution to the company, producing and making lovely books, marketing and selling them across the world and in particular Julia, Mette, Judith and Sunil. Without our authors, what would we be? Their books have been authoritative, appealing and enduring – we couldn’t ask for more. I’m immensely proud to have published each and every one of them. Hachette will make an inspired and safe home for our future dreams and I’m grateful to Tim and Alison for their enthusiasm for and belief in Kyle Books.”

Alison Goff, c.e.o. Octopus Publishing Group, said: “I have long admired the Kyle Cathie list and I am delighted that Kyle has chosen Octopus as the fitting home for her fabulous authors and staff. Kyle has always published books of the highest quality with expert authors and we’re looking forward to building on this legacy.”