Workman Publishing to be Acquired by Hachette Book Group

Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips’ client, Workman Publishing, one of the largest and most respected independently owned book publishers in the US, and Hachette Book Group announced today that they have entered into a binding commitment for Hachette to acquire Workman. The transaction is expected to close after regulatory approval is received.

Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group, said “We have admired Workman for decades, marveling at the spirit of innovation that drives their business, their strong brand franchises, their focus on backlist, the work culture they have nurtured, and the outstanding reputation they have established among authors, agents, booksellers, and the media. I could not be more thrilled to welcome Workman’s incredibly talented employees and their brilliant authors and illustrators to Hachette. The Workman program will powerfully complement HBG’s existing publishing programs, and this acquisition will unlock new opportunities for growth in exciting directions.” 

Carolan Workman, Executive Chair and President of Workman, said, “When Peter Workman launched our quirky little company over a half-century ago, it marked the beginning of a bold and joyful voyage. All these many years later, when I recognized that the time had come for Workman to have a new home, my first and foremost goal was to find a place where Workman’s unique culture could prosper long into the future, a place where we could nurture and protect our greatest assets:  our authors, illustrators, and, most of all, our amazingly wonderful staff. I am so happy to be joining with Hachette. They clearly respect not only what we are but who we are. I truly believe that our two companies will thrive together in this partnership.”

Dan Reynolds, CEO of Workman, said “Workman is defined by the brilliant leadership of Peter and Carolan Workman, and I am grateful that their work and, most importantly, their values will live on under new ownership. As I’m getting to know Hachette and their leadership team, I am ever more confident Workman will not only prosper in the days and years to come but remain an innovative leader in book publishing.”

Workman publishes award-winning content across many strong categories including cookbooks, parenting/pregnancy guides, gardening, country living, humor, children’s books, gift books, fiction, audio, and a bestselling calendar line. Workman’s imprints are fixtures in the publishing industry with tremendous brand recognition and a track record of consistently finding, cultivating, and developing truly unique and remarkable titles. Workman has developed many of today’s best-known publishing franchises such as WHAT TO EXPECT®, BRAIN QUEST®, and Page-a-Day® calendars.

Robin Warner, Managing Director, Head of Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips’ Book Publishing and Education sectors, said, “We have all seen remarkable deal activity in the last 18 months.  However, nowhere have I seen such an unwavering commitment to preserving a company’s amazing culture and looking after its staff, in addition to achieving a robust valuation.  Our mandate was to find such a buyer and Hachette delivered on all these points.  I am proud to have been part of the team that found the right match for Workman Publishing and am honored to have represented such a smart and ethical entrepreneur as Carolan Workman.”

“Representing Carolan Workman and the Workman Publishing team has been one of the greatest privileges of my career.  The company, its people, its culture and all they have created over the past 54 years is truly exceptional and one of the most admired companies in publishing.  From the beginning and throughout the process, Carolan’s top priority was the security and well-being of her employees, as well as her authors, illustrators and culture.  We are thrilled to have found a buyer that appreciates and will protect all that makes Workman so special,” says Joanna Stone Herman, Partner at Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips.

Workman Publishing will become HBG’s eighth publishing group, comprising the imprints Workman, Algonquin, Algonquin Young Readers, Artisan, Storey Publishing, and Timber Press. The new group will be led by Dan Reynolds, who will report to CEO Michael Pietsch and will join HBG’s Executive Management Board. Carolan Workman will retire at the close of the transaction.    

About Hachette Book Group

Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre (a Lagardère company), the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG is made up of seven publishing groups: Little, Brown and Company, Grand Central Publishing, Perseus Books, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Hachette Nashville, Orbit, and Hachette Audio. HBG also provides a wide range of custom distribution, fulfillment, digital and sales services to third-party publishers.

About Workman Publishing

Workman Publishing Co., Inc., is an independently owned family of publishers, including Workman Publishing, Workman Audio, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Algonquin Young Readers, Artisan, Storey Publishing, and Timber Press. Workman also is the distributor for The Experiment, duopress, Erewhon Books, and Familius. Workman publishes award-winning children’s books, cookbooks, parenting/pregnancy guides, and books on gardening, country living, and humor, as well as gift books, fiction, audio, and the bestselling calendar line in the business. The company is headquartered in New York City’s Greenwich Village, with additional offices in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; North Adams, Massachusetts; and Portland, Oregon. For more information, visit workman.com

Details
Transaction TypeM&A Sell-side
ClientWorkman Publishing
Sold ToHachette Book Group
IndustryMedia
DateAugust 2021