Houghton Mifflin Sold, Merges with Software Maker
Signs of movement toward electronic distribution in publishing continued this week as an announcement was made Wednesday that Houghton Mifflin Co. will be purchased by HM Rivergroup, a newly formed Irish private equity firm led by investor Barry O’Callaghan, for $3.4 billion, including $1.75 billion in cash.
The Boston-based Houghton Mifflin, the United State’s fourth largest textbook publisher, is expected to merge with Riverdeep, a Dublin-based software maker known for its educational material. The two companies will be called Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group once the deal is complete, HM Rivergroup representatives said.
“We are excited about the future of HM Rivergroup and the ability to [capitalize] on the convergence of print and digital education platforms,” O’Callaghan said. “The combined business will leverage Houghton Mifflin’s brand names, established relationships and large sales force to provide customers with an unrivaled product offering.”
This is the third group of owners Houghton Mifflin has had in past four years. The publishing company’s most recent former owners, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group, purchased the company for $1.66 billion in 2002 from Paris-based Vivendi Universal.