Global 50 CEO Talk 2021: Consolidation, Consumers and Communities: Making Sense of the Big Business in Books (and the Small Business)

On October 20, 2021, Robin Warner, Managing Director and Head of Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips’ Book Publishing and Education sectors, participated in Frankfurt Book Fair’s annual Global 50 CEO Talk. The theme of the discussion was “consolidation, consumers and community” and touched on a range of subjects including Hachette’s $240 million acquisition of Workman in the U.S.

Addressing the Hachette acquisition of Workman, Warner said the sale was predicated on three things: a strong valuation, the protection of staff jobs for a period of time, and complementary corporate cultures. This “confluence” was a key factor in helping the deal progress. Another catalyst for industry consolidation was the growing appetite for nonbook and book-adjacent products, Warner noted, as well as departments with strong ties to Hollywood, which she said was part of the reason for HarperCollins’s acquisition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media.


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