Blackwell Publishing acquires BMJ Books

04/08/04

Oxford & London, UK-- April 8, 2004--Blackwell Publishing Ltd and BMJ Publishing Group Ltd announced today that they have finalized the sale of BMJ Books, the book-publishing arm of BMJ, to Blackwell. Each year, Blackwell publishes over 100 books and 350 journals in medicine, biomedicine and allied health. With the acquisition of BMJ Books, titles in specialties such as pediatrics, accident and emergency medicine, anesthesia and intensive care, cardiology, and evidence-based medicine will be added to the company's list.

"Blackwell has a history of providing the medical community with a comprehensive collection of high-quality medical books. The addition of BMJ titles only strengthens the scope of Blackwell's service to clinicians world-wide, and demonstrates our commitment to growth in medical publishing," said René Olivieri, CEO of Blackwell Publishing. "As this transfer moves forward, Blackwell will further the high service standards set by BMJ, reinforcing the strength of publishing excellence for which Blackwell is known."

Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ and Chief Executive of BMJ Publishing Group Ltd said, "This decision has not been easy to make, but it is no longer feasible for us to continue an extensive book publishing business. We have published great books of which we are proud, but our cost structure has meant that we could not produce the return on the business that we hoped."

The sale, undertaken in consultation with union representatives and BMJ employees, follows a strategic review by the company to focus on core activities of journal publishing and developing educational materials for doctors, such as Clinical Evidence and BMJ Learning. "I assure all BMJ Book customers that Blackwell will provide the same superior level of service to which they are accustomed," Smith said. "The books will retain the BMJ Books imprint alongside that of Blackwell and, given Blackwell's international sales operation, we are confident that more books bearing our imprint will be sold."

The acquisition of BMJ Books brings 328 additional titles to the Blackwell list. This includes the ABC Series (reference books for researchers, clinicians, and health professionals) and a developing list of evidence-based textbooks, all of which complement Blackwell's existing Lecture Notes, At a Glance, and Blueprints series of books.

"The BMJ Books list is very impressive and we are delighted to work with BMJ Publishing Group to continue production of these quality titles," said Andrew Robinson, Director of Medical Publishing for Blackwell. "As the leading society publisher, Blackwell is confident that our expertise will help build the BMJ brand in book publishing." Titles from BMJ will carry the imprints of both BMJ Books and Blackwell Publishing as part of the sales agreement.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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