In January 2014, the board of Quercus Publishing plc announced the launch of a “formal sale process” (as governed by the UK Takeover Code).
It was announced in March that the Quercus board had recommended an offer to be made by Hodder & Stoughton (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hachette UK) for the entire share capital of the company.
Acceptances were received in respect of over 95 per cent of the share capital by 24th April 2014, the first closing date, and the offer was declared unconditional in all repects.
Livingstone’s Media & Technology sector team acted as advisor to Quercus, whilst Livingstone’s Debt Advisory team led discussions with the company’s bankers, Barclays.
Quercus is an independent publisher of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, with offices in London and New York. Founded in 2004 by Mark Smith and Wayne Davies, the company has published over 1,000 titles – including the best-selling Millenium Trilogy and Stieg Larsson’s ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ – in both print and digital formats.
The price offered by Hodder represented a 144.9 per cent premium to the price per Quercus share as at close of business on 24 March 2014 (the day before the offer was announced).
The announcement follows closely on from the £200m IPO of McColl’s Retail Group, another deal on which Livingstone acted as advisor, and adds to Livingstone’s Public Company Advisory credentials.