For the Frankfurt Book Fair’s annual Global 50 CEO Talk on Wednesday, investment banker Robin Warner, Managing Director of Oaklin DeSilva+Philips and Klaus Driever, Managing Director of Allianz, discussed, “Consolidation, Consumers and Communities.” Warner joined online from New York, with Driever speaking at the fair’s onsite broadcast studio.

The CEO Talk featured the Global 50 Ranking of the International Publishing Industry as researched by Rüdiger Wischenbart. In addition, reporters and editors of book industry trade magazines participated in the panel program, including Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer

A veteran of more than 50 transactions focused on trade publishing, edtech and education information services, Warner said that publishers are still working out the “COVID effect” on their businesses.

Investment Banker Tells Publishers Buyer Interest Is Strong

“For most publishers, revenues went up dramatically during the pandemic as people discovered print, e-books and audiobooks,” he tells CCC. “Because we’re still in the Covid effect period, Warner said, potential buyers are wary of overpaying if book sales do settle down a bit post-pandemic.”

Warner also noted interest in publishers is rising because publishers have a commodity that many businesses covet.

“They have the content. They have the storytellers,” Albanese explains.

“Warner said publishing companies are increasingly looking for businesses with ventures “complementary to books” and there is also a huge push to integrate publishing content into digital ventures. Publishers have the IP, and that IP is really coveted out there, she said, making it an exciting time for book publishing.”

Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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