Booktopia has entered into a publishing and distribution partnership with Welbeck Publishing Group based in the United Kingdom.
The Booktopia share price leapt 6% to an intraday high of $1.80 near the market open, before plummeting back to its previous closing price of $1.70. At the close of trade today, shares in the company had lifted again and were trading 2.05% higher at $1.74.
More on the partnership…
Earlier this year, the publisher told investors it would secure a 25% stake in the UK-based company’s new standalone subsidiary, Welbeck Australia (WPGANZ) for around $3 million.
In today’s announcement, the company advised that these agreements had been executed.
Now, under this new partnership, Booktopia will distribute WPGANZ’s catalogue of around 300 new titles per year.
Welbeck’s existing distribution agreement with giant Allen & Unwin and United Book Distributors will be transferred to Booktopia Publisher Services (BPS) by the end of the first quarter next year.
The company noted that the move would not only make WPGANZ the local publisher for Welbeck UK’s backlist of around 4,500 titles, it would also create an opportunity for Welbeck to build a local editorial team to publish Australian and New Zealand authors. The aim would be to bring in 50 new titles to the market each year.
Booktopia founder and chief executive Tony Nash welcomed the news, saying:
Welbeck is a highly-regarded and significant player in the book industry, and we are very excited about the opportunity to partner with them as they grow their presence in Australia and New Zealand.
The partnership and investment in Welbeck Australia will diversify and enhance our future income streams while growing our scale and strategic presence in the publishing and distribution segments of the book industry.
Booktopia share price snapshot
The Booktopia share price has fallen more than 37% in the past 12 months, with much of the drop happening since its 52-week high of $3.06 in September. The publisher has fallen 33.5% this year to date.
The company has a market cap of $245.86 million at the time of writing.