In the first major consolidation since the $14-billion merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc., Time Warner Inc. said today it is forming a unit comprising Little, Brown and Co. and Warner Books.
Annual publishing revenues for the combined entity, to be called Time Warner Trade Publishing and operated by Time Inc. Book Co., should exceed $160 million, the company said. Both houses are to continue publishing with separate imprints.
Little, Brown is a 152-year-old hard-cover and professional publishing house, which was controlled by Time, and Warner Books was Warner Communications' mass-market paperback and hard-cover publishing unit.
The move was planned by the companies when the merger agreement was formed. "Right from the start we said that Warner Books would become part of the Time Inc. book operations," said Louis Slovinsky, a Time Warner spokesman.
The creation of the new unit "enables the Time Inc. Book Co. to expand its consumer-targeted publishing efforts and to do hard (and) soft trade-book deals, said Kelso Sutton, president and chairman of Time Warner's book subsidiary.
Time Warner Inc., formerly Time Inc., bought 59.3% of Warner Communications last month for $7 billion cash and has proposed to buy the remaining outstanding Warner Communications stock with a package of securities valued at $70 a share.