RM has purchased from WH Smith plc the major assets of Helicon Publishing Ltd, which includes electronic reference databases and the rights to the Hutchinson branded series of reference books. The assets include 22 reference databases, the electronic rights to Hutchinson-branded reference books, eight staff and some online publishing contracts.
RM is acquiring the electronic and print publishing rights to the Hutchinson branded series of reference products, including the Hutchinson Encyclopaedia (the UK’s leading single volume encyclopaedia) and the newly-developed Hutchinson Children’s Encyclopaedia. Hodder Headline Ltd, WHSmith’s principal publishing company, will license from RM the print publishing rights for existing Hutchinson titles for an agreed period of time. RM retains the rights to publish other printed materials derived from the Helicon databases.
In addition, RM is acquiring digitisation and electronic publishing rights for a limited number of current Hodder Headline education and reference titles.
RM is acquiring a number of online publishing contracts and eight of Helicon’s staff, who manage and maintain the databases, will relocate to RM’s head office in Milton Park, Abingdon.
Commenting on the purchase Tim Pearson, RM’s Chief Executive, said,
Helicon has excellent intellectual property assets, which have been developed specifically for electronic and online environments and will be particularly valuable in RM’s primary and secondary schools markets. I believe that RM can exploit the assets effectively – both in their own right and as part of our future Learning Alive strategy.