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Little, Brown buys Constable & Robinson

Posted at 12:24PM Monday 03 Feb 2014

Ursula Mackenzie CEO of Little, Brown and Nova Jayne Robinson, Chairman of Constable & Robinson are delighted to announce that, with immediate effect, Constable & Robinson will join Little, Brown Book Group. This follows the signing and completion of an agreement between the shareholders of Constable & Robinson and  Little, Brown Book Group on 31st January 2014. 

Constable & Robinson, which comprises 8 different trade imprints, will become a distinct division within Little, Brown Book Group. 

Constable & Robinson publishes fiction and non-fiction, with authors present and past including M.C. Beaton, Jennifer Egan, Joan Collins, Rosie Goodwin, Carl Rogers, George Bernard Shaw, Bram Stoker, and Walter Scott. It has particular prominence in crime fiction through its C&R Crime imprint, as well as a growing presence in women's fiction and literary fiction through the Canvas and Corsair imprints, and a substantial backlist in SFF in its Mammoth anthology range.  The company publishes premium and commercial non-fiction through its Constable imprint, founded 1795, and in its Brief History range. It also has an outstanding reputation as a publisher of psychology and self-help, in particular through the distinguished Overcoming series, and respected How To and Right Way imprints.   

In the short term, Constable & Robinson, under Managing Director Pete Duncan who will now report to Little, Brown Publisher David Shelley, will continue trading from its current premises in Russell Square with business conducted as usual.  The transaction has been structured as a purchase by Little, Brown of 100 per cent shareholding in the business, which remains intact as a company.  All its contracts remain valid and will be honoured. There should be no disruption for authors and all arrangements with customers, freelancers, distribution partners, suppliers and other contacts of the house stand as they are at least until fully discussed with the parties concerned.

Nova Jayne Robinson said:

"After having been involved with the company for 21 years, the decision to allow it to move into the next phase of its development has not been easy.  It was a decision that Nick and I made together. 

"When we were first approached by Little, Brown last year, we were flattered but also mindful of the further development opportunities identified by the company.  Following five years of impressive growth, Constable & Robinson is remarkably well positioned. We needed to be sure the business could continue to flourish and retain its independence of spirit if it were to join a larger enterprise.  We feel absolutely sure that this is the case.                                                    

"I am delighted that, in joining Little, Brown, Constable & Robinson will keep both its name and its personality intact. It is clear from conversations with David and Ursula in recent months that Little Brown's publishing ethos and attitude towards books, authors and its team are closely aligned to ours.  Nick and I shared the view that we could not imagine a better home.                                                                               

"I will be leaving the business to focus on the online businesses that I have developed in recent years and the Robinson Psychology Trust a charity to further Nick's interest in supporting evidence based self-help.".  As Nick was, I am immensely proud of all the company and team have achieved to date, and can only pinch myself at handing over a growing business showing an increase in turnover of 14% and in gross profit of 24% in 2013.  I wish David and the team well for the future." 

Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO of Hachette UK said:

"I admired Nick enormously and I am delighted that he and Nova decided that Little, Brown is the right home for Constable & Robinson.  There is a great fit in our publishing and we are excited at the prospect of working with Constable & Robinson's authors to continue building their sales and developing their profiles in the UK and internationally." 

Ursula Mackenzie, CEO of Little, Brown Book Group said:

"We are delighted to welcome Constable & Robinson to Little, Brown where it will flourish as a stand alone imprint, building its terrific reputation in fiction and specialist non-fiction publishing.  Our lists are complementary and our publishing perspectives are completely aligned.  Little, Brown's success with Virago, Orbit and Piatkus is testament to our record of working with and developing highly respected publishing brands while retaining their distinct identities and we are looking forward enormously to playing our part in this new development for Constable & Robinson."


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