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2011 – A year of acquisitions?

Hardly a month into 2011 and news of several large acquisitions hit the papers. Now as the first quarter-end closes in, we see this trend more growing. Is more of this likely to be seen in the coming months? We seem to think so. Read on for the most interesting acquisitions so far and feel free to add more to this list.

Samsung buys Liquavista

In January this year, makers of the Galaxy Tab Tablet PC and several e-reader models, Samsung confirmed the news of its acquisition of a Dutch-based digital publishing company, Liquavista. Liquavista’s Electrowetting technology could help Samsung build better displays that offer enhanced outdoors visibility, like e-ink, and also save on power consumption while delivering faster refresh rates. The Samsung Tablets and smartphones too, are likely to be the beneficiary of such innovative display technology.




Pearson increases stake in TutorVista

Pearson, one of the world’s largest publishing groups and owner of The Financial Times, Pearson Education and Penguin, has increased its stake in Indian education firm TutorVista to a controlling level of 76 percent, for approximately $125 million.

The deal, one of the biggest transactions ever in the Indian education sector will expand Pearson’s business in education in India and in global online tutoring. Pearson had previously acquired a minority 17% stake in Bangalore-based TutorVista in June 2009.

TutorVista is primarily engaged in providing online tutorials to students in North America, supplying digital content and technology platforms to schools and providing services like curriculum design, teacher training and school administration services.

Pearson also has another Joint Venture in India with publicly traded learning solutions company Educomp, which develops vocational and professional services for the Indian market.

Google buys eBook Technologies

Early in January 2011, Google acquired eBook Technologies, a company that focuses on hardware and software distribution of e-books and e-book readers. The firm sells technology used to operate digital reading devices as well as publishing software and tools. Speculation is that Google wants to jump into the tablets, e-readers and other portable devices.

The acquisition came weeks after Google opened the eBookstore e-commerce site, where readers can browse and search through more than more than three million free books.



Proquest buys Ebrary

Ebrary, one of the pioneers in aggregating books and other print content online, hosts more than 273,000 digital books, handbooks, reports, maps, journals and other content from about 500 publishers that it offers to libraries and other institutions under a variety of services and platforms.

Ebrary, which has recently been acquired by ProQuest will continue to invest in Ebrary’s products and services for the academic, corporate, and public library markets. ProQuest will also expand Ebrary’s selection of research tools and ability to support new e-book devices as well as broadening language coverage from its current support of major European languages to include Chinese, Arabic and others.


MPS Ltd. and The BookMasters Group Inc. form strategic partnership

MPS Limited, a Macmillan company and The BookMasters Group, Inc. (BMI) announced a strategic partnership that will offer customers the benefits of a combined service across digital publishing, fulfillment, and print and electronic distribution.

The partnership allows BMI to offer its customers cost-effective services for eBooks, enhanced eBooks, and apps. MPS customers will gain from BMI’s Converso service, which distributes eBooks hosted on MPS’ ContentStore to Amazon, Apple, Overdrive, Barnes & Noble, Gardners, and 35 other critical eRetail sites. In addition, the partnership will enable the two companies to jointly offer US clients a complete fulfillment and distribution package.