In a transaction completed 4th May 2020, leading sales and marketing agency Eurospan has been acquired by United Independent Distributors.

Eurospan joins Marston Book Services, Orca Book Services and Turpin Distribution within the UID group. UID has ownership links with Books International and Integrated Books International (printing) in the US as well as partnership links with Printforce in the UK and the Netherlands.

UID was formed in 2019 to acquire Marston and Orca and did so as the first step in building a wider network of companies to provide flexible services for both publishers and agencies working on behalf of publishers. The acquisition of Turpin and now Eurospan provides the scale for the Group to begin the process of assimilating aspects of the constituent businesses to improve services for both clients and customers.

Ken Rhodes, who has been Managing Director of Eurospan since 2016, becomes Chief Executive Officer of UID. Ken was formerly Managing Director of NBN International and a founding director of Rowman & Littlefield International. He commented: ‘I’m delighted to be offered the opportunity to lead this group of companies with such long histories in the industry. In my career in publishing I’ve come to know many of the client publishers involved and look forward to getting to know those that I currently don’t. Our unswerving focus will be to improve service provision for publishers and customers.’ He added: ‘From a Eurospan perspective, I am pleased that the unique service offer we have provided to client publishers for over 50 years will continue to prosper under UID’s ownership. It will be very much business as usual.’

Vartan Ajamian, Chair of UID, said: ‘Bringing together this group of companies provides the scale that modern book distribution requires. I’ve known and wanted to work with Ken for some years now and am grateful he has agreed to provide the leadership required to ensure the success of our ambitious enterprise. I am happy also that Michael Geelan, formerly Chair of Eurospan and Turpin has joined the UID Board of Directors as Vice-Chair. His knowledge and experience will prove an invaluable asset to the company.’

About UID

The combined companies of UID provide a full range of distribution services to academic, trade and journal publishers both directly and through relationships with agencies. It is a partnership model with diverse shareholder input, dedicated to supporting publishers’ access to global markets in the most cost-effective ways.

About Eurospan

Eurospan provides specialist worldwide marketing and sales services to more than 250 STM, academic and professional publishers. It was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in London, UK.