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Hachette UK acquires Paperblanks

Hachette UK has announced the acquisition of Paperblanks, the world’s second largest publisher of premium notebooks, journals and diaries, after Moleskine. This follows the signing of an agreement on 14th January 2022, which will see Hachette UK acquire 100% of the share capital in the business.

David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK, commented: “’For a long time, I have admired Paperblanks and the stationery they publish. Their beautiful, high quality notebooks, journals and diaries have won them many devoted fans across the world over the past 30 years.

“I believe that there are fantastic opportunities for us as a book publisher in acquiring and developing adjunct businesses. Since we acquired Laurence King Publishing last year, we have learnt a lot from their gifts and games business, and there has been terrific cross-pollination between books and games. I believe the same will be true with Paperblanks and that there will be exciting opportunities for creative collaboration with the book divisions at Hachette. I couldn’t be happier that Victor Marks has entrusted his company to us.”

Victor Marks, Founder and CEO of Paperblanks, said: “It is with pleasure that I pass the ownership of Paperblanks to Hachette UK. I believe they have the passion, commitment and wherewithal to take the Paperblanks imprint to a much stronger position globally, which it so justly deserves.”

Established in Vancouver, Canada, in 1991 and now headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Paperblanks is focused at the premium end of the stationery sector, with image art centred around classic book binding design, literature, science, music, mysticism and creativity. In addition to its own product lines, Paperblanks has global co-branding partnerships with the Getty Museum and New York Public Library, as well as active licensing relationships with several cultural institutions around the world, including the British Library, the V&A, the Van Gogh Museum and more.

Following the acquisition, Paperblanks will become a standalone business as part of Hachette UK – reporting to Deputy Group CEO, Richard Kitson – and will be divided into two corporate entities: Paperblanks Journals Limited, a Canadian company that will operate the North and Latin American business; and Paperblanks Limited, an Irish company that will become the global headquarters for the organisation.

Richard Kitson, Deputy Group CEO of Hachette UK, commented: “This is an extremely exciting acquisition for Hachette. Paperblanks is a global leader in its field, and we are really looking forward to working with Graham Conway and the Paperblanks teams in Dublin and Vancouver. Our books and Paperblanks’ notebooks, journals and diaries complement each other, and we see great opportunity for further growth.”

As well as offering Hachette UK an exciting opportunity to capitalise on this rapidly growing market, the acquisition further supports the publisher’s long-term strategic aim to acquire adjunct businesses – specifically stationery brands – as well as continuing to make the company ever more diverse and internationally focused.

As part of the transaction, Paperblanks’ current Regional CEO and Group CFO, Graham Conway, will step into the role of CEO, taking over from Victor Marks.

Graham Conway, CEO of Paperblanks, added: “Becoming part of the Hachette family is a seminal moment for Paperblanks. Our founder, Victor Marks, had the vision to create the most unique notebooks in the world and assembled a global team of extraordinary people, passionate about bringing joy into people’s lives through our wonderful designs. We are brimming with excitement about the future as we embark on writing the next chapter of the Paperblanks’ story.”