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Lagardère to Buy Time Warner Books

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The publishing industry was abuzz yesterday afternoon with the announcement that French publishing behemoth Lagardère will acquire Time Warner Book Group. The deal is valued at $537.5 million. The French company has pursued a business objective of creating a portfolio in French, English, and Spanish.

Publishers Weekly‘s coverage included a quote from Lagardère General and Managing Partner Arnaud Lagardère who stated that “this acquisition of the Time Warner Book Group represents an ambitious strategic move for our Book Publishing operations, which have proven to be a source of revenue growth and improved profitability. It shows my willingness to develop our Book Publishing unit, to expand in the US – core market for the media industry  – and my personal confidence in Arnaud Nourry. I welcome the people of the illustrious Time Warner Book Group. Their new home is dedicated to the values of the book publishing industry and, with Arnaud Nourry as their leader, they will be in very good hands.”

GalleyCat‘s coverage added in a quote from Time Warner Chairman and CEO Dick Parsons who added, “this is a terrific transaction that is the right thing to do for both the Time Warner Book Group and our shareholders…[and] also underscores our commitment to a strategy of managing closely related, industry-leading businesses to maximize shareholder returns. We wish our Time Warner Book Group colleagues continued success and the best of luck at their new home.”

Always on the scene with the latest inside dirt, Gawker came through with the memo that Time Inc. chairperson Ann Moore sent to affected employees. In her email, Moore said that “no job losses are anticipated.” 

What I’m curious about is how this kind of thing affects authors on the current roster and manuscripts that might be under consideration. I certainly know how mergers in the business world generally cause hiring freezes, budget evaluations, and a general state of confusion for the folks in the cube farms. So if you’re someone’s whose vampire novel or memoir about his obsession with Sting was being considered by a Time Warner Book Group editor, what do you do now? I’m going to send some emails and see what I can find out. Stay tuned for more details.