Wolters Kluwer Flogs Legal Book Business to Private Equity Who Are Into Concert Tees & Beauty Products

Reported by CRIV on October 1 .. this is bigger news than they would like people to believe.

Apart from OUP and Bloomsbury Kluwer was the last legal publisher publishing legal books across a wide range of subjects by well-respected academics from around the world.

In the hands of private equity we’d have to say we are not encouraged that the diversity of the list will last long.

They’ll stick with the profitable and that as they say will be that.

It also illustrates that the concept of thought in legal writing has been subsumed by data, processes and profit.

Maybe they’ll be selling student legal publications at Coachella next year!

Or we’ll just see this sort of thing from now on – although it is more likely to say  –

Keep Calm I Used To Work At Wolters Kluwer

CRIV write…

Wolters Kluwer (WK) announced in a September 27 press release that it has signed a binding agreement with Transom Capital Group (Transom) to sell its legal education business for $88 million in cash. WK reports this move “will allow Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. to further advance its focus on supporting legal professionals with the domain expertise and state-of-the-art solutions that they need.” The legal education business produces student textbooks and digital education materials for law students, and is reportedly profitable with revenues of $33 million in 2020.

So what is Transom? Records show it is a privately held equity company incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Los Angeles.

Transom makes mid-market buyout investments in various sectors, and it focuses on “middle management investment opportunities that exhibit great potential.” Transom was founded in 2008, and started out investing in companies that make audio equipment, concert tee-shirts and promotional items. Transom has a broad and eclectic investment profile and its current portfolio includes, among other companies, Cross Pens, Beauty Quest Group, Bravo Sports, Makie audio, and Scantron.

Our Hands-On Experience Brings Bold Ideas to Life.
Experience is everything. Our team knows how to identify opportunities that fit what we know we can do because we have done it again and again. We have been in the corner office, run executive meetings, plotted strategy, and risen to the day-to-day operational challenges the leaders in our portfolio companies face on a daily basis. We know how it feels and we know what it’s like to get a lift from a real partner. Transom’s ability to identify best-fit opportunities and then employ our Operations expertise to leverage our ARMORSM Value Creation Model and create Cultural Transformations make us more than just another private equity firm.

Although holdings such as Bridge Tower Media may show Transom putting a toe in the publishing pool, academic publishing appears to be a new venture. In a 2017 news story reporting the Cross Pens acquisition, Transom was described as having a “hands-on approach that provides operational involvement and support without overwhelming the management team.”[1] This may come as some comfort to the 50 full-time employees currently working for WK Legal & Regulatory. We will all eagerly await what this deal means for our students and our faculty who rely on WK legal textbooks.


KEN FIRTEL Co-Founder and Managing Partner

RUSS ROENICK Co-Founder and Managing Partner

JAMES OH Managing Partner

[1] 2017, Nov 16. Transom Capital Acquires A.T. Cross Company: Nation’s oldest and largest manufacturer of writing instruments poised for expansion with growth capital. NASDAQ OMX’s News Release Distribution Channel.

Wolters Kluwer Sells Legal Book Business to Private Equity Firm