Acquisition marks fresh chapter for Yorkshire-based publishing house

Vicky Williams

The Emerald Group, which is headquartered in Bingley, has today confirmed it has been acquired by Cambridge Information Group (CIG).

For over 50 years, Emerald has been an independent publishing house, formed by a group of management academics at the University of Bradford, and latterly run as a family-owned business, spearheaded by the late Dr Keith Howard.

A publisher of academic journals, books, and case studies in the social sciences, Emerald has recently diversified into corporate learning through a suite of acquisitions which now form Emerald Works.

The business says the acquisition signals a key milestone in the Group’s history. It explains the deal allows continuity as well as change, and the opportunity to accelerate growth, particularly in response to the evolving open research landscape.

Cambridge Information Group is a New York-based family-owned investment firm with a history of long-term investments in education, information, and software companies.

During CIG’s multi-decade ownership of ProQuest, the business grew rapidly through investments in new products and multiple strategic acquisitions.

CIG says its acquisition of Emerald builds on its deep experience in the higher education industry, with “real ambition for long-term growth of the business.”

Vicky Williams, CEO of the Emerald Group, said: “Noting CIG’s heritage in the information industry and their mission to acquire and build businesses that have a positive impact on large numbers of people, we’re excited about both mission alignment and the growth path ahead of us.

“Our ambition to drive positive change and publish impactful research that makes a difference will be bolstered significantly by the expertise in the CIG team, and we look forward to an exciting future driven by shared values.”

Pankaj Sharma, head of private investments for CIG, added: “We are thrilled to welcome the Emerald Group to the CIG family and are excited about the opportunity to invest in building a global leader serving the critical needs of higher education research and learning.

“Given our family ownership and decades of experience building global information services businesses, we are uniquely positioned to help continue Emerald’s purpose of helping people making impactful decisions.”