Copenhagen’s Saga Egmont Acquires Freiburg’s Audiobuch Verlag

In News by Porter Anderson

With the acquisition of Germany’s Audiobuch, Saga Egmont parent company Lindhardt og Ringhof will have bought and/or partnered with five publishers this year.

In Audiobuch’s home base, Freiburg im Breisgau, June 26. Image – Getty iStockphoto Endrik Baublies

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Horne: ‘We Expect Significant Growth’
As Lindhardt og Ringhof’s digital publishing house Saga Egmont in Copenhagen announces its acquisition of Freiburg im Breisgau’s Audiobuch Verlag oHG, it’s describing itself as having “Germany’s largest audiobook catalogue.”

saga egmont logo“With the acquisition” of Audiobuch, “we consolidate our strong position in the German audiobook market,” says Saga Egmont publishing director Lasse Horne. “We still have great ambitions for Saga worldwide and Germany is one of Europe’s most important book markets.

“We expect significant growth there as digitization accelerates and streaming becomes more widespread.”

The Saga Egmont catalogue, the company reports, comprises more than 80,000 digital titles in at least 30 languages.

Of these, more than 5,000 titles, the company says, are in German. Those include titles directly from Lindhardt og Ringhof, Carlsen, and Saga Egmont itself. Among releases anticipated in the autumn and spring, the company points to Sarah Engell’s The Chinese Twin, Kristian Corfixen’s The Nurse and Anna Grue’s Murder in the Second-Hand Shop.

In adding Audiobuch’s list to its mix, Horne says, “We’ll be publishing many of Audiobuch’s authors internationally in the future. There’s a lot of untapped potential here for the authors and the publisher.”

Thilde Pfeifer

Audiobuch’s editorial director Thilde Pfeifer says, “‘Audiobuch’s catalogue is diverse, commercially strong, and of high award-winning quality. The publisher has won the Deutscher Hörbuchpreis and Deutscher Buchpreis several times,” and includes titles by Lee Child, Simon Beckett, and Siegfried Lenz.

Horne is said to be estimating that the supply of interesting rights and audiobook publishers is drying up in the Nordic countries, and that future potential acquisition opportunities for the publisher lie south of the border, where Saga already owns audiobook publishers in several countries. With Audiobuch, Lindhardt og Ringhof will have acquired and/or partnered with five publishers in 2021–which, of course, is a reason that you seem to see so many news stories about the company.

Boesgaard: ‘A Great Tailwind’

For clarity, Egmont is the name of Denmark’s largest media group and a foundation that operates charitably each year with close to 100 million Danish krone (US$15.8 million) in support among needy young people.

Egmont’s Lindhardt og Ringhof publishing company created Saga Egmont in 2014 as its digital division.

Lindhardt og Ringhof CEO Lars Boesgaard is quoted in the Audiobuch messaging to news media, saying, “The publishing industry has experienced a great tailwind in recent years. Here in the first half of 2021 alone, the Swedish book market grew by 10 percent, and this development only further boosts Lindhardt og Ringhof’s digital ambitions internationally.

“We have several other interesting things in our sights.”

More from Publishing Perspectives on audiobooks is here, more on the German market is here, more on Denmark is here, more on Saga Egmont is here, and more on digital publishing is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.