U.S. Expansion for Bonnier Publishing

A new division from U.K.-based Bonnier Publishing will bring together the book publisher’s U.S. imprints: start-up publisher Little Bee Books based in New York and veteran publisher Weldon Owen U.S. based in San Francisco, California.

The new division, Bonnier Publishing USA, will be headed by Shimul Tolia, president of children’s imprint Little Bee Books, who has has been promoted to CEO for the division. Roger Shaw, publisher of Weldon Owen U.S., will continue to lead Bonnier Publishing’s West Coast operations, including its food, drink and lifestyle titles. Shaw will report to Tolia.

“Our combined U.S. operation currently accounts for USD 40 million and the plan is for growth in the U.S. to USD 100 million by the end of 2019,” says Richard Johnson, Group CEO, Bonnier Publishing.

Little Bee Books was started in 2014 and will publish 150+ titles this year. Weldon Owen U.S., founded in 1986, was absorbed by Bonnier Publishing in February from sister company Bonnier Corp., bringing the U.K. book group’s overall revenue to USD 180 million.

To prepare for further growth, Bonnier Publishing USA will establish a new flagship office, relocating Little Bee Books from its current premises at 853 Broadway to a larger space at 251 Park Avenue South. The new space will be triple the size of the current office and will act as the division’s headquarters. Weldon Owen U.S. will continue at its offices in San Francisco with marketing and PR staff remaining in the New York City office.

“We have risen from nowhere to be the 4th largest publisher in the U.K. and we intend to drive the same growth strategy in the U.S. in the coming years,” says Johnson. “Bonnier Publishing USA, headed by the hugely impressive Shimul Tolia, provides the perfect platform for this.”

Tolia says: “This is an exciting time for us at Bonnier Publishing USA. We launched Little Bee Books in New York City with four employees in 2014 and have grown exponentially in just two years. Including the established Weldon Owen business, we now have a dynamic U.S. company of over 40 employees. Our results over the last year demonstrate a strategy that is working and a strong foundation for growth. We can’t wait to relocate to our new offices in New York City and look forward to bringing more of our books to more people.”