Osprey has close to doubled in size with the acquisition of Duncan Baird Publishers, including Watkins Publishing. The buy is the first acquisition in Osprey's plan to grow its enthusiast-focused publishing following a major refinancing in June 2011.
Duncan Baird Publishers, which publishes illustrated books in food, health and mind, body and spirit, had a 2011 turnover of £5.5m. Osprey Group's sales for the same period were £7m.
Osprey Group c.e.o. Rebecca Smart paid tribute to Duncan Baird, who founded the publishing company in 1992, buying the Watkins spiritual and philosophy imprint in 2004. "Duncan has created a really strong business in the growing lifestyle and transformation publishing areas and has also worked on strengthening the Watkins name," she said. "We plan to continue this work energetically to make the company a vital destination for the important spiritual, self-help and wellbeing communities, and everyone seeking to transform their lives."
Baird said: "I'm hugely proud of what my team has achieved over the years and there is tremendous potential for the DBP and Watkins imprints, both nationally and internationally. Osprey is the perfect home for us—its strength in understanding its readers and its innovative approach to digital development will add enormously to our ability to grow in the future."
The business will continue to be run from its London office, with Rebecca Smart and Osprey's chief financial officer John Bowman working alongside Baird.
Osprey announced last year that it had obtained £4m from London-based private equity firm Alcuin, with the majority of the injected capital to be devoted to further acquisitions. The publisher already had several buys under its belt, including Shire Books (2007), Angry Robot (2011) and Old House Books & Maps (2011).
Announcing the refinancing, Smart said "We have a clear focus on creating content for niche enthusiast markets."