Hachette in deal to buy Perseus Books

Wednesday 25 June 2014 08.27
France's Hachette to buy Perseus Books Group for an undisclosed sum
France's Hachette to buy Perseus Books Group for an undisclosed sum

Hachette, the French publisher locked in a battle with online retailer Amazon over book pricing, will take over Perseus Books Group, the sixth largest US trade publisher. 

The deal will expand Hachette's already large catalogue with some 6,000 mostly non-fiction Perseus titles under imprints like Basic Books, Avalon and Moon travel books, and the Westview Press. 

Privately-owned Perseus has put no value on the deal.

Hachette will take over its publishing business and sell its client services division, which handles marketing and distribution, to Ingram Content Group. 

The deal "fits our strategic goals of growth and non-fiction expansion," said Hachette Book's group chief executive Michael Pietsch. 

The deal, which needs regulatory approval, also potentially gives Hachette more leverage in its fight with Amazon. 

Amazon, by far the largest book vendor in France, has curtailed sales of Hachette books online for weeks in what have been called hardball negotiating tactics on their distribution contract by the retailer. 

Amazon has acknowledged it is maintaining less inventory from Hachette and is no longer taking pre-orders from the publisher. 

Hachette has meanwhile urged book buyers to shop at Amazon's online rivals as the two sides square off.