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Bloomsbury bounces as it inks deal to enter Chinese market

The new venture, based in Beijing, will publish its own titles as well as licensed works from Bloomsbury and other publishers in the Chinese language

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc - Bloomsbury inks joint venture deal to enter Chinese market

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LON:BMY) shares bounced on Monday as it signed a joint venture (JV) agreement that will expand its business into the Chinese market.

The media house, best known for publishing the Harry Potter franchise, will own 50% of the new JV with state-backed publisher China Youth Publishing Group (CYPG), while the Chinese firm will own 30% directly and 20% through its subsidiary, Roaring Lion Media (RLM).

READ: Bloomsbury Publishing expects strong second half with new illustrated Harry Potter edition

The JV, based in Beijing, will publish its own titles as well as licensed works from Bloomsbury and other publishers in the Chinese language.

The company already has a presence in the region through publishing titles in English and licensing the rights for translations, however, it said the JV will provide “the next step in establishing a domestic publishing footprint” in the country.

Nigel Newton, Bloombury’s founder and chief executive, added that RLM’s “market and operations expertise will help the joint venture grow quickly”, while CYPG, one of the original four publishing firms founded following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, provided “reputation, history and reach within the country”.

“Today's announcement marks an important moment in Bloomsbury's international expansion. This joint venture provides a unique opportunity to work with two companies which are highly complementary to our business”, Newton said.

Analysts at Peel Hunt, which rate Bloomsbury at a ‘buy’ with a target price of 300p, said that they hoped the new JV will “become a strategically important income stream for the company”.

“China is both a significant and difficult market. Gaining exposure through JV structures is a well-trodden route and seems commercially the most practical way… It will certainly be a way of gaining valuable commercial understanding and experience of this market”, the broker said.

The shares jumped 6% to 286.1p in early deals.

--Adds broker comment and share price--

Quick facts: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Price: 204.04 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £166.51 m

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