Medical student consulting textbook
The acquisition marks another step towards diversification of the company’s business interests / Image source: Adobe
  • Move strengthens US footprint
  • Adds over 40,000 academic titles
  • Bloomsbury shares gain on deal

Publishing house Bloomsbury (BMY) announced this morning it had agreed to buy academic publisher Rowman & Littlefield for £65 million.

Bloomsbury is financing the acquisition from its own cash resources and a new £30 million three-year term loan with Lloyds Bank (LLOY).

The acquisition marks another step towards diversification of the company’s business interests.


The company said: ‘This strategically important acquisition will accelerate BDR (Bloomsbury Digital Resources), increasing our target revenue for 2027/28 to £41 million, as Bloomsbury applies its proven ability to create digital growth to Rowman & Littlefield's market leading titles, expanding BDR products and driving innovation.

‘Rowman & Littlefield's academic publishing business generated revenue of $36 million (£28 million) and pre-tax profit of approximately $6 million (£5 million) for the year ended 31 December 2023.’

Shareholders were pleased with the news, sending shares 2% higher this morning to 569p. Over the past year Bloomsbury shares have gained 38%.

Bloomsbury is more than just a successful publisher of sci-fi and fantasy books


Fiona Orford-Williams, director of technology and media research at Edison said: ‘Bloomsbury has announced the acquisition of Rowman & Littlefield, and the fact it has done a sizeable deal on the academic side of the business should not come as a surprise given the accumulation of cash on the balance sheet to £65.8 million at the last year-end (February) and the recent £30 million three-year term loan put in place.

‘The clearly-articulated M&A priorities had been for US-based assets with a strong academic offering and digital potential and Rowman & Littlefield ticks all those boxes. The fit on subject matter also looks strong, with an emphasis on the arts, humanities, and social science, giving a compelling combined offering for the enlarged group to propose to academic institutions.’


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Issue Date: 29 May 2024