This Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017 file photo shows the News Corporation headquarters building in New York. On Monday, March 29, 2021, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced it is selling HMH Books & Media, which includes titles by J.R.R. Tolkien and the Curious George children's series, to News Corp.'s HarperCollins division for $349 million. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
NEW YORK (AP) — Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is selling HMH Books & Media, which includes titles by J.R.R. Tolkien and the Curious George children's series, to News Corp.'s HarperCollins division for $349 million.
The deal comes as the publishing industry reshapes itself through consolidation and follows German media giant Bertelsmann's purchase of rival Simon & Schuster in November.
Houghton Mifflin said the sale will allow it to focus on its K-12 education business, with schools re-opening as the coronavirus pandemic appears to be winding down. Houghton Mifflin, which says it serves 90% of U.S. schools and calls itself the largest K-12 education technology company in the U.S., will also put more emphasis on digital sales.
“There is incredible demand for our expertise as schools across the country plan for post-pandemic learning and recovery," said Houghton Mifflin CEO Jack Lynch. ”This is an inflection moment for K–12 education in our country and for HMH as a trusted partner to schools and teachers in advancing learning for every student."
Houghton Mifflin, which has struggled financially for years, says it will use some of the sale's proceeds to pay down debt. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.
Last year's $2.17 billion cash purchase of Simon & Schuster by Bertelsmann's Penguin Random House division shrunk the so-called Big Five of American publishing — which also includes HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan — to four.
News Corp. Chief Executive Robert Thomson slammed the megadeal when it was announced, calling Bertelsmann a “book behemoth” and “literary leviathan" that would dominate the market.
Agents and authors are worried that a concentration of power in publishing would translate to less competition for book deals and smaller advances.
Featured Article: What is required to own or exchange cryptocurrency?7 Outdoor Recreation Stocks For Growth And Dividends
If American’s liked outdoor activities before, they love them even more now. The COVID-19 pandemic has done many things, and one of them is reinvigorating American’s love of the outdoors. Data from across the industry shows a sustained uptick in revenue that has the entire complex moving higher.
The RV Industry Association, for example, reports shipments of RVs are up greater than 30% in 2020 and are expected to grow another 20% or more in 2021. If data from the two of the industry’s largest manufacturers are any indication, that forecast is very conservative.
And the gains aren’t limited to RVs. Everything that has anything to do with outdoor recreation is booming. Sales at Dicks Sporting Goods, an iconic brand for retail and the outdoors, has seen a sustained 20% increase in revenue since the 2nd quarter shutdowns. If anything, revenue in this sector is being held back by rapidly declining inventory and tight shipping conditions.
The stocks we are about to show all have something in common; the outdoors. Within the group, you will find everything from RVs to Radios and everything in between an outdoor enthusiast could need or want. Some pay dividends and some don’t, but all will deliver solid returns to investors in 2021.
View the "7 Outdoor Recreation Stocks For Growth And Dividends"
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