The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) is acquiring the publishing business of Lion Hudson from the AFD Group to become the UK’s largest Christian publisher.
Completion of the transaction is expected to take place so that from 8th May, Lion Hudson’s imprints will join the SPCK Group alongside the SPCK and InterVarsity Press (IVP) imprints. The sum involved was undisclosed.
The new, expanded SPCK Group will be the UK’s largest Christian publisher with income in excess of £8m per annum. All staff employed by Lion Hudson will move to SPCK, with Lion Hudson's m.d. Suzanne Wilson-Higgins and finance director Caroline Gregory joining SPCK’s senior management team.
The combined organisation will be headquartered at 36 Causton Street in London SW1 with another office based at Prama House in Summertown, Oxford.
Wilson-Higgins said: “The bringing together of Lion Hudson, which has been stabilised under AFD’s ownership over the past three years, and SPCK creates a strong group dedicated to Christian book publishing and future growth."
James Catford, chair of SPCK, called it "an exciting and visionary step which combines the UK market leader in children’s Christian publishing with the market leader in adult Christian publishing". He added: "The strengthened SPCK Group will now have the scale and resource to be a global leader in Christian publishing, in a worldwide marketplace with growing numbers of Christians, growing literacy, and the growing affordability of books.”
Sam Richardson, SPCK c.e.o., said: “I am delighted that this move continues SPCK’s momentum. Our successful merger with InterVarsity Press has proven that we can both provide a seamless experience for authors and customers, and retain the distinctive theological approaches of different imprints under one roof. This move will help both SPCK and Lion Hudson to better serve our authors, our customers and the church in the UK and around the world.”
David Dorricott, AFD Group m.d., commented: “It has been a privilege to be part of God’s plan for Lion Hudson for a season – and we are delighted that this exciting opportunity will now release new energy not just in the amazing imprints of Lion Hudson, but also the wider SPCK group."
Lion Hudson was formed from two organisations: Lion Publishing, founded in 1971 by David Alexander, Pat Alexander and Tony Wales, and Hudson International, founded in 1977 by Angus Hudson. Later Hudson acquired publishers Monarch Books and Candle Books, and the whole group was acquired by Lion Publishing Plc in 2003, later renamed Lion Hudson Plc. Assets of the business were acquired by the AFD Group following the administration of Lion Hudson Plc in 2017.
SPCK is a charity founded in 1698 and governed by a royal charter.