NEW YORK, March 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Scholastic Corporation (SCHL), the global children's publishing, education and media company, announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary Scholastic UK Limited has completed the acquisition of a majority ownership position in Make Believe Ideas Limited ("MBI"), the innovative UK-based publisher of children's books founded by Jo Bicknell in 2004. Currently publishing over 100 titles a year, MBI is known for creating high-quality, affordable books for young children and babies, with distribution in the US and around the world largely through mass merchants. Ms. Bicknell will retain an ownership stake in the company, remain on the MBI board of directors and continue to serve as its chief executive officer. Financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed.
"Jo and the MBI team have been extraordinary partners on this journey. In less than four years, our collaboration has produced a bestselling Scholastic-branded line of books for early childhood with beautiful, inventive elements that invite kids to touch, play, discover and learn," said Ellie Berger, Scholastic Executive Vice President and President, Trade Publishing. "With 11 million books already in print, we look forward to expanding our publishing program to engage and inspire even more children around the world."
The acquisition builds on the relationship established in 2015 when Scholastic announced its initial minority equity stake in MBI. The first co-branded offering from the two companies was the Fall 2015 global English-language release of Scholastic Early Learners, a set of brightly colored, interactive books that encourages activity-based learning in multiple formats.
"Our relationship with MBI reflects our commitment to invest in partners who share our passion for creating world-class content and innovating new ways of engaging children in reading and learning," said Iole Lucchese, Scholastic Chief Strategy Officer. "We are committed to ensuring the editorial independence of MBI now and in the future, and preserving their heritage of creativity and innovation."
"The first four years of partnership with Scholastic have been full of hugely innovative books, delicious opportunities and enormous fun," said Jo Bicknell, founder of MBI. "I could not be more passionate about what the coalition of MBI and Scholastic will continue to achieve."
Scholastic Corporation (SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, a leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and entertaining children's media. The Company creates and distributes quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12 and other products and services that support children's learning and literacy both in school and at home. With 14 international operations and exports to 165 countries, Scholastic makes quality, affordable books available to all children around the world through school-based book clubs and book fairs, classroom libraries, school and public libraries, retail and online. True to its mission of 99 years to encourage the personal and intellectual growth of all children beginning with literacy, the Company has earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.
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