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EMC Corporate Finance helps Ilex get wrapped up by Octopus

5th Dec

EMC Corporate Finance has completed the sale of Lewes illustrated publisher Ilex Press to the Octopus Publishing Group.

The deal means that Ilex now becomes an imprint of Octopus alongside other internationally-known names such as Hamlyn, Cassell Illustrated and Mitchell Beazley.

Ilex is best known for its expertise in photography and the visual media, producing illustrated reference titles on creativity and popular culture. Its list includes titles by photographer Michael Freeman, author of The Photographer’s Eye and The Complete Guide to Digital Photography, and the 2013 Christmas hit The 1000 Dot to Dot Book by Thomas Pavitte.

Alastair Campbell, who co-founded the company in 2000 with Peter Bridgewater and Jenny Manstead, is retiring, but there will be no other redundancies, with all Ilex creative publishing staff transferring to London.

Peter Bridgewater said: “We are proud of what Ilex has achieved over the last 15 years and Alastair has been the driving force. He retires knowing that he has left the company in the safe hands of a larger group whose extra resources will enable the Ilex imprint to continue to go from strength to strength.

“It’s the right deal at the right time for all concerned and I would like to thank Nik Askaroff and his hard working team at EMC Corporate Finance for all the work they put in to ensure negotiations stayed on track and the deal seen through to a successful conclusion.”

Octopus chief executive Alison Goff said: “We have long admired the Ilex list for its quality and creativity. The titles Ilex publish are essential reference for anyone working in the field of new media design and we look forward to working with the many talented authors and photographers on the list.”

She added: “The move to Octopus Publishing Group will provide the Ilex list with a strong, stable base from which to continue publishing successfully into the UK and international markets, whilst affording the future business the opportunity to expand its publishing activity in North America.”


EMC’s Michael Pay (far left), Michael Gibbs (second right) and Nik Askaroff (far right) flank Ilex directors (from left) Alastair Campbell, Dan Logan, Stephen Paul, Peter Bridgewater and Jenny Manstead

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