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Acquisition of publishing house approved by the competition authorities

The acquisition of Bonnier Forlagene in Denmark by Egmont publishing house Aschehoug, which was announced 11 June, is now a formal reality.

Today, the publishing companies received the competition authorities' approval of the acquisition. The new publishing house is Denmark's second largest and will change its name to Lindhardt og Ringhof.

Last year the publishing companies released more than 1,000 new titles and sold approximately 8 million books. Lindhardt og Ringhof will carry on the Aschehoug's imprints Athene, Sesam, Alinea and Forlag Malling Beck along with Carlsen, Akademisk Forlag, Alfabeta and Børsens Forlag – the latter four all being Bonnier companies. The publishing house, which also comprises several book clubs including 12 Bøger and Bogsamleren, will employ around 240 people and generate revenues totalling approximately EUR 99 million. The publishers will physically merge in November.

However, one single publishing activity, comics, generating less than 1% of revenues, is not covered by authority approval. The European Commission assessed that the publishing house, together with the rest of the Egmont Group, would have achieved a dominant market share in the comics market. The comics rights held by the former Bonnier company Carlsen will therefore remain with Bonnier in a Danish company managed from Stockholm, Sweden. The exception from the approval does not alter the overall strategy for the remainder of the publishing group.

Anette Wad, Managing Director of Lindhardt og Ringhof, says: "We are looking forward to implementing the biggest change for many years in the Danish publishing industry for the benefit of readers, authors and employees. We have noted the authorities' assessment of the competitive situation on the comics market. We are pleased that the opportunities for realizing our overall strategies remain intact."