Guidance on Growth by Acquisition

March 2008
by Linda Carlson

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Guidance on Growth by Acquisition

by Linda Carlson

Acquiring an imprint or an entire company is often the route to growth for publishers. Being acquired can be equally important, as a source of revenue or expertise so that your company can expand, or as part of an entrepreneur’s exit plan.

If you think there’s an acquisition in your future, PMA members have lots of advice. In fact, one said he could talk for at least eight hours on the topic.

Let’s start with making a purchase. That’s how several of our members got started, by buying one title—or more—from their employers or from other publishers. It’s also how many publishers grow, adding a complementary book or an entire imprint.

What’s key? No one said it better than Richard Peck, a South Carolina–based consultant and veteran of such firms as McGraw-Hill and Ziff-Davis:

Outline your goals for the acquisition. (Why are we doing this?)

Set your quantitative hurdles. (How do all the numbers—for example, sales, profits, discounts, outlets, market penetration, cost of goods sold, royalties—relate to what we need?)

Don’t let enthusiasm for the acquisition blind you to potential problems.

Be willing to say no…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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