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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Google scoops another travel guide

Google tops up Zagat with Frommers

Wiley announced Monday morning it has "entered into a definitive agreement to sell all of its travel assets, including all of its interests in the Frommer's brand," to Google. The publisher had said in March it intended investigate the sale of "a number of consumer print and digital publishing assets in its professional/trade business that no longer align with the company’s long-term strategies." Those properties included Frommer's, as well as CliffsNotes, and Webster's New World. Prospective buyers reported to us that they were originally told Wiley preferred to find a single purchaser, but given the diversity of the properties--which are verticalized across many interests (also including culinary, general interest, nautical, pets, and crafts)--locating a single buyer presumably proved difficult.

For Google, the purchase builds on their acquisition of Zagat's in September 2011 for approximately $151 million, and provides them even more significant book publishing-related IP. Wiley said recently that the entire collection of trade/professional assets up for sale drove approximately $80 million in annual revenues. The announcement indicates that other sales "may arise from the sale of other consumer assets," and all proceeds "will be redeployed to support growth opportunities in Professional/Trade; Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly; and Global Education businesses."

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