New York’s Cambridge Information Group Acquires the UK’s Emerald Group

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England’s Emerald Group and its Emerald Publishing now are part of CIG, an investment firm in New York City and Bethesda, Maryland.

Cambridge Information Group has offices in Bethesda, Maryland, and on 7th Avenue in New York City (here, the corner with West 59th Street). Image – Getty iStockphoto: Michele Vacchiano

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

Another Company Owned by Cambridge is Bowker
In the United Kingdom, the Emerald Group—best known to our readership for its Emerald Publishing division led by CEO Vicky Williams—has announced today that it’s been acquired by Cambridge Information Group (CIG). No financial details about the sale have been provided.

One of the most interesting stories we’ve had from Emerald in recent seasons arrived just over a year ago, when the company produced a report on how the international academic community was concerned about how inaccessible some of its output can be, with many researchers wanting to see their work presented in ways that might make it more understandable to a world that has certainly needed scientifically grounded information and guidance in amid the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Vicky Williams

Williams, of course, has been a noted leader in issues of diversity in the workplace, particularly in gender equity, joining us in 2017 at Frankfurter Buchmesse for a conference panel on women in the workplace.

In today’s media messaging, Williams is expressing her pleasure in the fact that the company is becoming “part of the CIG family, and continuing to build on the legacy created by Dr. Keith Howard,” the late chief of what has been for more than 50 years a family-owned business.

“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,” Williams says, “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.”

Under Williams’ leadership, Emerald is, per its own description, “a publisher of academic journals, books, and case studies in the social sciences” recently diversifying into “corporate learning through a suite of acquisitions which now form Emerald Works.”

Cambridge Information is, itself, a family-owned investment firm, often working in education, information, and software. It has owned ProQuest in the past and in today’s commentary is praising Emerald for its academic heft in the market.

Cambridge’s managing director for private investments, Pankaj Sharma, talks of being “excited about the opportunity to invest in building a global leader serving the critical needs of higher education research and learning.

Pankaj Sharma

“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.”

Cambridge Information Group is based in New York City and Bethesda, Maryland, and was founded in 1971, while Emerald has its offices in Bingley, England’s West Yorkshire.

Bowker, of course, is a familiar company name found in the Cambridge Information Group portfolio, as is Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the School of The New York Times, Back to Rock—a music school—and Clarivate.


More from Publishing Perspectives on mergers and acquisitions is here, more on Emerald Publishing is here, more on academic and scholarly publishing is here, more on the United States’ market is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s market 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 is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he 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.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (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.

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