Story in New Zealand Herald today byLinda Herrick
From this week, Reed Publishing, founded by A. H. and A. W. Reed, has been forced to change its name to Raupo Publishing (NZ).
The change is part of a deal between Reed Publishing NZ's latest owners, London-based Pearson, which owns Pearson Education NZ-Penguin Group NZ, and European company Reed Elsevier, which specialises in science and education publications.
It's the latest move in Reed's complicated history of takeovers and mergers since 1983, when the Reed family sold the last of its shares to a British company called ABP, under which it became Reed Methuen. That was just one of several name changes before Reed Publishing NZ was established.
"Our Pearson lawyers in the UK have spent many months trying to fight that decision but we have lost," said Pearson-Penguin managing director Margaret Thompson. "It's a condition of the sale that the name had to change so in consultation with the management team at Reed, we have decided to change it to Raupo, the Maori name for 'reed'."
While Thompson said "nothing will change" for writers contracted to the former Reed, there will be redundancies across the board at all three companies - Pearson Education NZ, Penguin Group NZ and Reed-Raupo. Reed Publishing's Birkenhead business will be "integrated" between Penguin Group NZ-Pearson Education's premises at Rosedale in January, while Reed's warehouse in Birkenhead will continue to operate until April.
Other comments on his website said: "I guess that Penguin thought they would be getting the publishing list and the all-valuable name of Reed. Well, they missed out on the latter. Bloody ridiculous in my book. Old AH Reed will be swirling in his grave."
"I'm of a generation that grew up buying books from Whitcombe & Tombs or Reeds lists and they have both gone now, both through international takeovers."