Sad to say, Egmont Publishing has had to close its US business after trying but failing to find a buyer. The official Egmont statement said:
Egmont Publishing, which at $900 million is the largest division in the Denmark-based Egmont group, employing 2,400 people across 30 countries, has a new strategic focus, which is to invest in books and magazine businesses where Egmont can hold a leading market position. One of the outcomes has been the decision to exit the standalone position in the US market, which they entered in 2008. Attempts to sell Egmont USA since October 2014 have not resulted in any final agreements. As a consequence, Egmont has decided to close the office, effective from January 31st 2015.
Book trade press has so far failed to provide any analysis of the move beyond the publisher’s own announcement, but any setback for Egmont is to be regretted. In the UK particularly, Egmont has been at the forefront of literacy and education initiatives to improve reading standards and habits, as well as ethical publishing moves, and such goals should be supported.
CEO of Egmont Publishing International Rob McMenemy said: “The reason for closing the US business is that it does not fit with the strategic position of Egmont Publishing only to invest in countries where we can have a market leading position. MD and Publisher Andrea Cascardi and her team in Egmont USA have done a great job and we were hoping to succeed with selling the business, unfortunately this has turned out not to be possible.”