Ediciones B, founded in 1987 and with a staff of 100 people, it is the heir to the publishing house of the now defunct Bruguera and the jewel in Zeta's crown. It is strongly represented in the Spanish and Latin American markets, publishing books for adults (fiction and non-fiction), children, young readers, illustrated books and comics. The latter include Mortadelo y Filemón, Superlópez and Simpsons Comics.
In a group that is in financial difficulties due to the ravages of the press crisis, the publishing house has been profitable and has made a profit in five of the last six financial years. In 2015, it closed with a surplus of €890,893, according to information held by the Companies Registry. Its turnover was €13M in 2015.
The Zeta Group is a Spanish communications group based in Barcelona and Madrid. The crisis severely affected the group, which saw its turnover decrease. Last December, Zeta announced that it would not be able to meet its upcoming debt maturity and requested a renegotiation of its debt, in addition to requesting a new loan valued at around €25M.
With the sale of Ediciones B, Grupo Zeta will be able to alleviate some of its financial problems. Moreover, according to Antonio Asensio Mosbah, the president of Grupo Zeta, the sale of Ediciones B will allow Grupo Zeta to concentrate its strategy on boosting its main journalistic assets, at a time when enormous efforts are required to tackle the process of digital transformation of the media.
With the acquisition, Bertelsmann, owner of Random House, will gain muscle in Spain and the Latin American market. In Spain in 2014 it acquired Ediciones Generales (Alfaguara, Taurus...) for 72 million euros. Bertelsmann also owns 19.16% of Atresmedia shares, valued at more than €420M.
Until the definitive formalisation of the transaction, Penguin Random House and Ediciones B will continue to operate independently. Following this formalisation, the Ediciones B imprints in Spain and Latin America will pass to Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial and Núria Cabutí Brull will continue to hold the position of CEO and Managing Director of the company with the support of Román de Vicente, Managing Director of Ediciones B. The new publishing company plans to publish 2,000 titles a year.
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