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Rupert Murdoch (HarperCollins) to acquire Thomas Nelson Publishers

November 1, 2011

From the Wall Street Journal:

HarperCollins Publishers Inc. agreed to acquire Thomas Nelson Inc., significantly bolstering HarperCollins’s offerings of religious-themed titles.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. It comes nearly 18 months after an investor group led by private-equity firm Kohlberg & Co. acquired a majority of Thomas Nelson’s stock. In 2006 the Nashville-based publisher had gone private in a transaction valued at about $473 million….

HarperCollins already owns a leading religious division, Zondervan, as well as the imprint HarperOne, which is best known for its health, religion/spirituality and self-help titles. Thomas Nelson has issued such best-selling titles as "Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of his Trip to Heaven and Back," by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. It also publishes leadership and personal finance works as well as bibles and works used in Christian studies.

Although Thomas Nelson doesn’t report its sales, the publishing house is estimated to generate about $200 million annually in revenue from all publishing categories, according to one industry estimate.

The Christian book market will generate about $1.4 billion in revenue this year, up slightly from sales in 2010, estimates Mark Kuyper, chief executive of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association….

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