NEW YORK (AP) — Two years after a planned deal fell through, Hachette Book Group is purchasing the Perseus Books Group, bringing together two of the country's largest publishers.
The companies issued separate statements Tuesday, announcing that Hachette had acquired Perseus' publishing division, an extensive network of imprints that includes Basic Books, PublicAffairs and Running Press. The purchase, which Hachette expects to be completed by the end of the month, joins Hachette's power in the fiction market with Perseus' catalog of thousands of nonfiction works.
Hachette publications range from Stephenie Meyers' "Twilight" series to Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Goldfinch" to J.D. Salinger's fiction, while Perseus's books include Samantha Powers' Pulitzer-winning "A Problem from Hell" and H.G. Bissingers' "Friday Night Lights." Perseus will operate as a division within Hachette, under the leadership of Perseus publisher and senior vice president Susan Weinberg.
"We are bringing over the Perseus staff as is," Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch told The Associated Press. "Perseus has great publishing programs that are managed really well. They will add to our revenue. They will add to our size and prestige. They are good for the top line and the bottom line."
In 2014, Hachette and Perseus called off a complex, three-way transaction that would have had Hachette buying Perseus' publishing and distribution divisions, then selling the distribution arm to Ingram Content Group. Perseus is still hoping to sell its distribution arm, which includes Consortium and Publishers Group West and works with many of the country's independent publishers.
Perseus CEO David Steinberger told the AP that the company is coming off its best year ever and that the board of directors had decided it was a good time to sell. Steinberger plans to stay with Perseus until it finds a buyer for its distribution service, then pursue other employment. He also will remain as board chairman for the National Book Foundation, which oversees the National Book Awards and numerous educational programs.
Hachette, which struggled for much of 2015 but had a strong fourth quarter, is owned by the French conglomerate Lagardere. Perseus is currently owned by Centre Lane Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm.
This story has been corrected to show the name of the publisher is Perseus Books Group, not Perseus Book Group.