Tuesday, July 12, 2016

German Publisher Buys Thalia Bookstore Chain

Shelf Awareness

U.S. private equity firm Advent International has sold its majority interest in Thalia, which has more than 280 bookstores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is the largest bookstore chain in German-speaking Europe, according to Buchreport. The buyer is the Herder publishing family, whose partners now include the Kreke publishing family (which has owned a minority interest), digital publisher Leif Göritz and Thalia CEO Michael Busch.

Thalia has estimated revenues of €960 million (about $1.06 billion). It developed the Tolino e-book device to compete with Amazon, which is the largest book retailer in German-speaking Europe.

After buying its stake in Thalia in 2012 from Douglas Holding, Advent International restructured the bookstore chain. Advent International managing partner Ranjan Sen said that "after successful realignment, Thalia is again on economically sound feet and is growing on its own power."

Herder Verlag was founded in 1801 and is led by Manuel Herder, the sixth generation in his family to head the company, which specializes in religion, philosophy, ethics and modern life titles. For Herder, the purchase of Thalia represents a major return to bookselling. (It does own the Frankfurt bookstore Carolus.) Twenty years ago, the Herders sold Herder Bookstores to the Kreke family, whose bookstores became part of Thalia.

No comments: