Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I am now reliably informed that when Pearson acquired the two US Harcourt educational units (my blog of 5 July) they did indeed also acquire Reed NZ and I gather that the NZ staff of both companies have been informed of that news without any details as to how and when this will all take place.
It would be a reasonable guess though that Pearson's NZ educational publishing arm will take over the various educational pieces of Reed while Penguin NZ will absorb the Reed NZ publishing perhaps maintaining the Reed name as an imprint.
And sooner rather than later.

During my years at Penguin Books NZ the UK parent company acquired a number of publishing houses - Michael Joseph, and Hamish Hamilton are two that spring to mind - and in all cases the staff and lists of the companies were subsumed into Penguin with the company names remaining as imprints.
This is pretty standard practice and is seen at Random House NZ for example where local publisher Godwit was taken over and the name kept as an imprint.

How ironic though that Reed are celebrating their centennial this month with a series of trade parties around the country and have just published the beautiful WHARE RAUPO - The Reed Books Story.
Shades of Borders still opening new stores in NZ while announcing that they are selling up!
Watch this space, more news as it comes to hand.


Warehouse Willie said...

The wheel turns full circle!
Years ago you (Beattie) recruited Geoff Walker from Reed Publishing to join you as the editor there following John Barnett's retirement on health grounds. If your story is confirmed then Walker will end up in charge of the Reed list to which he contributed many years ago. Bloody ironic as you say Bookman.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget that back in 1987 Penguin bought the Whitcoulls (formerly Whitcombe & Tombs) list, which included a treasure trove of archived material ...

Bookman Beattie said...

I wonder if that treasure trove has been fully mined?
I remember the purchase of the Whitcoulls publishing list. Brian Pankhurst was the CEO at Whitcoulls at the time as I recall.

And yes Warehouse Willie you are quite right. And Geoff is still there, and still doing a great job. He was a good appointment. I think he must be the only person left there now who was there when I finished at Penguin to join Scholastic in Jan 1988? Tony Harkins was finance director at the time, Colin Cox Sales Director and Karen Ferns my Marketing Director.

KF said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KF said...

Beattie you are a cheeky beggar.
You remove my comment yet leave your own blatantly sexist comment unchanged.
I refer to your claim that I was "your" marketing director, while Harkins was finance director, note not YOUR finance director and Cox was not YOUR sales director.
If I can persuade the police to prosecute my ex partner for domestic violence for describing me as having an ample backside, I will certainly take action over your sexism.

Bookman Beattie said...

My my KF, so sensitive. If I knew how to remove the word "my" which is causing you so much pain I certainly would but for the life of me can't figure out how to do that.Any advice?
Merry Christmas by the way.

Bookman Beattie said...

And just for the record this is a blog about books and publishing, it is not a forum for airing grievances or promoting egos.
Unlike many bloggers I allow posts to this blog without any reference to me for prior approval. Perhaps I should reconsider this policy?