|Parent company||Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH|
|Founder||Georg von Holtzbrinck|
|Country of origin||Germany|
|Publication types||Books, Newspapers, Academic journals, Magazines|
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group (German: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck) is a privately held German company based in Stuttgart which owns publishing companies worldwide. Through Macmillan Publishers, it is one of the Big Five English-language publishing companies.
In 2015, it merged most of its Macmillan Science and Education unit (including Nature Publishing Group) with Springer Science+Business Media, creating the company Springer Nature. Holtzbrinck owns 53% of the combined company.
The history of Georg von Holtzbrink's publishing activities during the Nazi years 1933-1945 has been controversial. After World War II, Georg von Holtzbrinck, a former member of the Nazi party, reestablished a group in 1948, beginning as a German book club. In the 1960s, it purchased Droemer, Kindler, Rowohlt and S. Fischer Verlag, two German publishing companies. In 1985, it acquired the retail book division of Holt, Rinehart and Winston, naming it the Henry Holt Book Company. One year later, the company acquired Scientific American magazine for $52.6 million. In 1994, it purchased a majority interest in Farrar, Straus & Giroux from retiring Roger W. Straus, Jr. A year later, it purchased a 70% majority interest in The Macmillan Group, and then the remaining shares in 1999.
In March 2006, Holtzbrinck forced Tor Books, which is owned by Holtzbrinck, to stop making its books available as e-books via Baen Ebooks because of concerns regarding the lack of digital rights management (DRM). The policy was later changed and Tor titles became available as DRM-free e-books in 2012. The Tor UK label in Britain (and hence the EU) does the same. The company also received a good deal of attention when it bought the then leading German social networking platform StudiVZ in January 2007.
Holtzbrinck has total annual sales of 2.1 billion euros (as of 2005); 49% of sales are in Germany and 23% in North America. It had 2005 earnings before taxes of 142 million euros, and a total of 14,000 employees.
The current chairman of the group is Stefan von Holtzbrinck. John Sargent is CEO of Macmillan, the company that unites the US-based businesses of the group.
In the United States:
Using the Macmillan name:
Using the Audio Renaissance name in Southfield, Michigan:
In the United Kingdom:
The founder of the firm, Georg von Holtzbrinck, was until the early 1930s an impoverished student who sold books door to door. He joined a Nazi student group in 1931, two years before Hitler came to power. He became a member of the Nazi Party in 1933, and stayed loyal to it until the end of the war.
Denn Georg von Holtzbrinck sei „ein wichtiger Akteur" in der Buchhandels- und Verlagsgeschichte im Dritten Reich gewesen. Er war Mitglied der NSDAP, aber nicht als fanatischer Nazi in Erscheinung getreten.