Egmont UK’s list includes key preschool names such as Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Egmont Publishing has confirmed that it has agreed to sell its children’s books businesses in the UK and Poland, together with Schneiderbuch in Germany, to HarperCollins.
The children’s book business in other markets are not affected by the deal, which is expected to be completed on April 30, 2020.
The deal will enable Egmont Publishing to focus more on magazines and comics, combined with ecommerce and marketing services.
Egmont’s book portfolio includes key preschool brands such as Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine among others.
On completion of the deal, Egmont Books UK will be run as a distinct children’s division, led by md Cally Poplak. Cally will join HarperCollins UK executive committee and will report to Charlie Redmayne, ceo of HarperCollins UK. The division will maintain its publishing autonomy and will remain in its offices for the immediate future.
“The acquisition of Egmont will give us a huge opportunity to combine their existing profile and expertise in the UK and in Europe with the licensing experience and capability we already have in Suzanne Murphy’s HarperCollins US children’s business,” explained Charlie. “This will enable us to unlock the potential of licensed publishing across the broadest international reach.
“We look forward to welcoming Cally and her team, and of course Egmont UK’s exceptional list, which includes iconic names such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Thomas the Tank Engine, Tintin and Mr Men, to HarperCollins UK where alongside Ann-Janine Murtagh’s record-breaking children’s division we will continue to build an unbeatable children’s publishing proposition.”
Torsten Bjerre Rasmussen, ceo of Egmont Publishing, added: “In Egmont we are proud of our strong children’s book business, one of the leaders in a competitive European market. But we have taken a strategic decision to exit the children’s book business in the UK and Poland along with Schneiderbuch in Germany, and we are pleased to announce that HarperCollins will be the future owner.
“I want to thank our great employees that have done fantastic work over the years developing books and content to an exceptional standard.”