Waverly joining Masson in European ventures Firm to sell literature in France, Spain


Making another move to boost its overseas sales and profits, Waverly Inc. set up joint ventures in France and Spain to sell its medical books and related publications in those countries, the Baltimore-based company said yesterday.

In both nations, Waverly is teaming up with Masson, a Paris-based publisher and unit of CEP Communications.

"We want to grow the business in those two countries," said E. Philip Hanlon, Waverly's chief financial officer. "That's why we're collaborating with Masson, which has a good position in Europe with their organization."

Waverly is no stranger to international sales. Forty percent of its revenue is international, and for years it has licensed its medical textbooks and other products for foreign publishers to sell in translation.

Lately, though, Waverly has been seeking a firmer hand on the offshore press. One of its strategic goals now is to set up joint ventures with foreign publishers, and it already has such deals in Egypt, Italy, Argentina and India.

Such ventures can give Waverly more control over the marketing of its books, and they yield a stake in the profits, too, not just royalties.

French and Spanish business "is not a significant part of our international sales," Hanlon said. "This is an opportunity for both parties."

In France, Masson will buy a 50 percent stake in Waverly's company there, Editions Pradel. Hanlon declined to disclose the price.

Editions Pradel will be restructured as a joint venture and will publish titles from Waverly's Williams & Wilkins line in French, plus some original material by French authors. Editions Pradel will be renamed Masson-Williams & Wilkins France.

In Spain, Masson and Waverly will each furnish an undisclosed amount of capital to start Masson-Wilkins & Williams Espana, the joint venture there. That venture will publish Williams & Wilkins materials in Spanish translation, and a Masson affiliate will distribute the products not only in Spain but also in Latin America.

Waverly is a leading publisher of medical and scientific books. It had $156 million in sales in 1995.

Pub Date: 12/24/96

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