Bloomsbury Publishing beefs up its academic publishing offering with bolt-on acquisition

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY) has snapped up certain assets of Red Globe Press (RGP), the academic imprint, from Macmillan Education Ltd for £3.7mln.

Bloomsbury said £2.1mln will be satisfied in cash at completion and up to £1.6 million will be paid on or post-completion, subject to the assignment of certain contracts.

RGP specialises in high-quality publishing for Higher Education students globally in Humanities and Social Sciences, Business and Management, and Study Skills. It has a backlist of more than 7,000 titles and publishes more than 100 new titles per year, with content including digital platforms, textbooks, research-driven materials and general academic publishing.

Bloomsbury said the acquired RGP titles are a good strategic fit, strengthen Bloomsbury’s existing academic publishing, and establish new areas of academic publishing in Business and Management, Study Skills and Psychology.

RGP’s three digital products will be migrated to Bloomsbury Digital Resources’ own platform and its content added to Bloomsbury Collections. The business will operate within Bloomsbury’s Academic and Professional division.

According to unaudited figures, RGP generated £9.6mln of revenue and £1.1mln in profit before tax in 2020. RPG’s gross assets are valued at around £800,000.

In the remaining nine months of Bloomsbury’s financial year ending 28 February 2022, RGP is expected to contribute about £6.0mln of revenue and £400,000 of profit before tax, prior to integration and acquisition costs.

“This move is another key step in the delivery of our strategic growth strategy and continues our drive to grow our Non-Consumer business. Acquiring these complementary lists accelerates our digital growth and our significant presence in humanities and social sciences academic publishing,” said Nigel Newton, the chief executive of Bloomsbury.

Peel Hunt’s initial estimates have the acquisition adding around 3% to its forecast earnings per share for the current fiscal year and 5% to next year.

Shares in Bloomsbury were up 5% at 294p in mid-morning trading.


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