Alcuin Capital exits Osprey to Bloomsbury in historic transaction

Bloomsbury Publishing plc has announced that it has acquired Osprey Publishing Ltd, the Oxford-based military and natural history publisher, from private equity investor Alcuin Capital Partners LLP.

The Osprey group consists of Osprey Military, Heritage and Custom Publishing, and British Wildlife Press. Osprey Military is the world’s best known military history brand, publishing titles with international appeal, covering history from ancient times to the modern day.

The Military division is the largest part of Osprey, with a significant subscriber database. Osprey owns the copyright over the majority of its titles and over 50 per cent of its revenue is generated outside the UK — principally in the US — enabling Bloomsbury to increase its market share of the global book market. The business will operate within Bloomsbury’s Special Interest Publishing division.

Mark Storey, Partner at Alcuin Capital, commented: “When we decided to explore the potential sale of Osprey we naturally turned to Livingstone given their sector experience. That proved to be a good decision as Livingstone gave us sound advice and valuable support throughout the process.”

Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury commented: “The acquisition of Osprey increases our presence in niche special interest markets. It is complementary to, and will substantially enhance, our existing lists; in particular increasing the division’s expertise in natural history and military history publishing, as well as international sales.”

Richard Fetterman, Partner at Livingstone, concluded: “We are delighted to have worked with Alcuin in the sale of Osprey to Bloomsbury which was our second high profile book publishing transaction over the past few months, following the sale of Quercus Publishing plc to Hodder & Stoughton.”


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