10 December 2019
BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING Plc
BLOOMSBURY ACQUIRES OBERON BOOKS
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc ("Bloomsbury") announces that it has today completed the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Oberon Books Limited ("Oberon" or the "Acquisition"), the London-based drama publisher. The consideration was £1.2 million, all of which was satisfied in cash at completion. The business will operate within Bloomsbury's Academic & Professional division. Oberon generated £1.0 million* of revenue in the year ended 31 December 2018. There are opportunities for profit enhancements following the integration of the business into Bloomsbury. The Acquisition is expected to break even in its first year, before reorganisation and acquisition costs, then be earnings enhancing thereafter. It will contribute approximately £0.1 million of revenue to Bloomsbury in the year ending 28 February 2020. (*Unaudited)
This acquisition comes as Bloomsbury celebrates 60 years of Methuen Drama's Modern Plays, and the crowning of The Arden Shakespeare Third series, with the final play, Measure for Measure, publishing in January. The Oberon programme aligns perfectly with Bloomsbury's existing publishing, whilst strengthening its offerings in contemporary and cutting-edge theatre. With the combined lists of Oberon, Methuen Drama and The Arden Shakespeare, Bloomsbury is now the leading publisher in drama and the performing arts.
Jonathan Glasspool, Managing Director of Bloomsbury's Academic & Professional Division said:
"We are delighted to become owners of the prestigious Oberon list. The Oberon programme aligns very well with our existing publishing within Methuen Drama. The Oberon list strengthens our offerings in contemporary theatre. With the combined lists of Oberon, Methuen Drama and The Arden Shakespeare, Bloomsbury is looking forward to developing and diversifying its position as the world's leading international publisher in drama and the performing arts."
Oberon's founder James Hogan said:
"After 32 years it's time to ensure that Oberon and its authors achieve a secure, lively home in the future. I'm truly delighted that Bloomsbury, the leaders in drama publishing, are taking over to carry on the good work. I've spent nearly half of my life building Oberon's list and supporting new writers. It grew out of my work in a reading group at Riverside Studios in the early Eighties. I had little idea then that Oberon would flourish and become a major new force in the business. It's been a fantastic job working with so many brilliant authors and agents for so long."
For further information, please contact:
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
+44 (0) 20 7631 5630
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive
Penny Scott-Bayfield, Group Finance Director
+44 (0) 20 7796 4133
Dan de Belder / Hattie Dreyfus
NOTES TO EDITORS
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is a global independent publisher across trade, specialist, professional, school and higher education markets. Its Academic division has grown rapidly since its inception in 2008, publishing around 1200 titles per year and specialising in the arts, humanities and social sciences. It leads the field in innovative publishing, with a fast growing portfolio of digital resources, including the award-winning Drama Online.
The Methuen Drama imprint includes a diverse range of plays by authors including Sarah Kane, Katori Hall, Arthur Miller, Kwame Kwei-Armah, James Graham, Edward Bond, Lucy Prebble, Mark Ravenhill and Caryl Churchill. As well as play texts Methuen Drama publishes books for theatre-goers, students, scholars, practitioners, actors and those wishing to pursue a career in the theatre industry.
Founded in 1985 by James Hogan, Oberon Books is now one of the most exciting publishers specialising in drama and the performing arts. It has a backlist of 1500+ books including some of the best of British theatre since the 1940s, diverse European and world theatre in translation and classics from the world's leading dramatists, and a wide range of publications covering the theatre, opera, dance, biography, performance studies, monologues, practical guides and fiction.
Oberon has a reputation for publishing some of the most challenging, exciting drama happening right now, bringing into print plays from the stages of the National Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse, the Royal Court, the Tricycle, Traverse, Soho, major regional theatres, and fringe theatres, not forgetting the West End and Broadway.