The Point.1888 secures 7 more licensees for Percy the Park Keeper

Brand licensing specialist The Point.1888 has secured seven new licensees for publishing brand Percy The Park Keeper.

Created by Nick Butterworth, the popular heritage publishing property has expanded its licensing programme due to the continued popularity of the brand among families. With many of the books’ original readers now having children or grandchildren themselves, they are now looking to share their favourite stories with the next generation. This has allowed the brand to see continued growth and enabled it to bring new partners to the licensing programme.

The new licensees are:

Poetic Brands – Kids’ and baby apparel

William Lamb – Footwear and accessories

Robert Frederick – Stationery, art and crafts, garden

Tonies – Electric audio book box

Anthem – Colouring books

Museums & Galleries – Greetings cards

Portico – Calendars

These agreements represent a huge step forward for Nick Butterworth’s brand licensing programme with The Point.1888, as it aims to bring his portfolio of literary properties to life through consumer products and events.

New partners will start rolling out their products this year, and are the perfect follow-on from the recent success of a nationwide partnership with The National Trust for a family winter trail over the Christmas period.

As well as Percy the Park Keeper, the portfolio includes the hugely popular children’s books My Dad is Brilliant, My Mum is Fantastic, My Grandma is Wonderful, My Grandpa is Amazing, and the Altogether Now series. Nick has sold over 20 million books in more than 35 languages, with Percy the Park Keeper selling more than nine million copies with long-term publisher HarperCollins. HarperCollins’ publishing programme for Percy The Park Keeper will continue to grow in 2022 & 2023.

Olivia Wiggett, Commercial Manager for The Point.1888, said: “We’re delighted to welcome all our new licensees to the Percy The Park Keeper programme. It’s such an exciting time for the brand to celebrate the quality storytelling and genuine emotion and warmth that never gets old. We can’t wait to keep growing the programme alongside Nick and Ben Butterworth [Nick’s son] and our wonderful licensees.”

Ben Butterworth added: “It is great to see the love for Percy amongst people of all ages confirmed in the growth of the licensing platform. We are delighted to be working with such good commercial partners. The Point.1888 continues to do an excellent job in expanding Percy’s licensing programme and we are very excited by what 2022 and 2023 have in store for Percy and his animal friends.”

Percy The Park Keeper partners with the National Trust for nationwide winter trails

HarperCollins to acquire Egmont Books UK for undisclosed sum

HarperCollins has detailed its intention to acquire Egmont Books UK for an undisclosed sum, alongside Egmont’s book businesses in Poland and Schneiderbuch Germany.

The transaction is set to complete on 30th April but will not include Egmont’s magazine publishing.

According to the Bookseller, on completion, Egmont Books UK will be run as a children’s division led by its current MD Cally Poplak. Poplak will join HarperCollins UK executive committee, and will report to CEO Charlie Redmayne.

The division “will maintain its publishing autonomy and will remain in its offices for the immediate future”, HarperCollins said.

It’s been reported that the deal will create what is likely to be the biggest UK children’s publisher in terms of market share. Last year HCCB and Egmont had sales of £58.6m through BookScan in the UK, while Penguin Random House Children’s (not including DK) had sales of £57.1m.

Among Egmont’s bestsellers are its Minecraft licensed titles, including its Construction Handbook with sales of 621,014 copies, as well as Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse which sold 569,623 copies.

In Germany, Schneiderbuch will integrate into the children’s books group reporting to Carina Mathern, editorial director of HarperCollins Germany Children’s, who reports to Juergen Welte, MD of HarperCollins Germany. Egmont Books Poland will report through Agnieszka Baranska, MD of HarperCollins Poland.

Redmayne said: “The acquisition of Egmont will give us a huge opportunity to combine their existing profile and expertise in the UK and in Europe with the licensing experience and capability we already have in Suzanne Murphy’s HarperCollins US children’s business.

“This will enable us to unlock the potential of licensed publishing across the broadest international reach. We look forward to welcoming Cally and her team, and of course Egmont UK’s exceptional list, which includes iconic names such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Thomas the Tank Engine, Tintin and Mr Men, to HarperCollins UK where alongside Ann-Janine Murtagh’s record-breaking Children’s division we will continue to build an unbeatable children’s publishing proposition.”

Rasmussen added: “We have taken a  strategic decision to exit the children’s book business in UK, Poland and Schneiderbuch  in Germany, and we are pleased to announce that HarperCollins will be the  future owner of the business in these countries. I want to thank employees in all three countries that have done fantastic work over the years developing books and content at an international standard.”