27.08.13 | Joshua Farrington and Philip Stone - The BooksellerAustralian publisher Hardie Grant has bought independent Quadrille for an undisclosed sum.
Quadrille, set up in 1994, focuses on non-fiction publishing including food, craft and health, with a list including books from chefs such as Antonio Carluccio, Michel Roux and James Martin, and designer Cath Kidston. It also has a stationery range.
The deal will see all current management at Quadrille remain in place, with Alison Cathie continuing as managing director and Hardie Grant founder Sandy Grant becoming chairman.
Hardie Grant, set up in 1997, employs 150 staff across offices in Melbourne, Sydney and London. In London, it has a staff of seven, selling Australian books into the UK as well as commissioning new titles. The company previously distributed Quadrille's titles in Australia.
Stephen King, m.d. at Hardie Grant Books UK said: "We've been in the UK now for four years, and are very interested in expanding our reach in international markets. Quadrille is a great fit for us—one of their Carluccio books was the first title we distributed in Australia in our early days."
Cathie said: "Hardie Grant have been Quadrille’s distributor in Australia for many years, and are already close colleagues of the company, so we are delighted to have found a like-minded, independent partner to take the company forward in its illustrated books and stationery publishing and strengthen its presence in the digital arena."
She added: "There won't be any changes to the Quadrille team. We see this as a way to pursue all opportunities that might come to us – whether they be international, digital, or elsewhere. We were the first publisher to sign up with Hardie Grant as a distributor, so we have a long relationship with them – we are a good fit."
Grant said: "We have worked with Quadrille since we first started, we admire their creative publishing, and their amazing list of books and stationery, and we are very happy to make this acquisition to expand our business in the UK and beyond."
Quadrille's sales thus far in 2013 are up 3% year-on-year to £1.7m, helped by sales of the official tie-in to TV series "The Great British Sewing Bee". It is strongest in the Handicrafts, Arts & Crafts sector, where it has a 9% market share this year, and in Food and Drink (3% in 2013). Its most successful year was in 2007, helped by the performance of Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food (Nielsen BookScan recorded sales of 208,000 copies that year). However its sales were affected by Ramsay's subsequent move to HarperCollins.