BPI Acquires Whitaker in United Kingdom

Posted on June 24, 1999

BPI Communications Inc. has announced that, through its U.K. affiliate, it has acquired J. Whitaker & Sons Ltd., the U.K. based information and publishing company serving the worldwide book publishing industry for an undisclosed sum. John Babcock, Jr., president and CEO of BPI, a subsidiary of VNU USA, made the announcement.

"This is a great fit for BPI and VNU. It increases our foot print in the U.K. and strengthens our management there; it complements VNU's point-of-sale data and chart businesses; Whitaker's database systems and Bookseller magazine's news coverage will enhance our Internet offerings. I could not be more delighted," said Mr. Babcock.

Founded in 1858 with the creation of the Bookseller magazine, Whitaker will continue to operate its two major divisions, Whitaker Business Publications and Whitaker Information Services through its existing management structure led by Group Managing Director Martin Whitaker with Howard Lander, BPI 's executive vice president and president of its Billboard Group operations assuming overall responsibility.

Whitaker has expanded its business through the development of its Bibliographic database systems, TeleOrdering E-commerce and most recently BookTrack, which electronically captures data on retail book sales in the U.K. "We are excited about the new opportunities Whitaker's position in the book publishing industry adds to our portfolio and the global strength of its brands," said Mr. Lander. "Additionally, Whitaker mirrors our strategy of commercially merging data with traditional publishing properties and the exploding world of the Internet and E-commerce. I'm looking forward to utilizing both their talent and information resources to broaden the business domestically and overseas."