Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
Parent companyVerlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH
Founded1948; 76 years ago (1948)
FounderGeorg von Holtzbrinck
Country of originGermany
Headquarters locationStuttgart, Germany
Publication typesBooks, Newspapers, Academic journals, Magazines
ImprintsSee below
  • Monika Schoeller
  • Stefan von Holtzbrinck[1]
Official websiteholtzbrinck.com

Holtzbrinck Publishing Group (German: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck) is a privately held German company headquartered in Stuttgart, that 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.[2][3]


The history of Georg von Holtzbrink's publishing activities during the Nazi years 1933-1945 has been controversial.[4][5] After World War II, Georg von Holtzbrinck, a former member of the Nazi party,[6] reestablished a group in 1948, beginning as a German book club. In the 1960s, it purchased the German publishing companies Droemer, Kindler, Rowohlt and S. Fischer Verlag. 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 Macmillan Publishers, and then the remaining shares in 1999. In 2001, Pearson sold the Macmillan trademark in the United States (gained with the acquisition of Simon & Schuster educational and professional division, which included the assets of former Macmillan Inc.) to Holtzbrinck.[7]

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. Don Weisberg is CEO of Macmillan, the company that unites the US-based businesses of the group. Previous CEOs of Macmillan include John Sargent.[8]

Subsidiaries and imprints

German newspaper Die Zeit in newsstand

In Germany:

In the United States:
Using the Macmillan name:

Using the Audio Renaissance name in Southfield, Michigan:

In the United Kingdom:

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck. "Management". Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  2. ^ Bray, Chad (15 January 2015). "Publisher of Nature and Scientific American to Form Joint Venture". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  3. ^ Carpenter, Caroline (6 May 2015). "Completed merger forms 'Springer Nature'". The Bookseller. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  4. ^ Landler, Mark (14 October 2002). "Another German Publisher Mulls Its Wartime Past". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  5. ^ O'Toole, Fintan. "Empire of publishing built on barbarism". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2022. 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.
  6. ^ "Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck". mediadb.eu. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2022. 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.
  7. ^ Bookseller, Allbusiness.com
  8. ^ Book View Archived 20 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Publishing Trends, April 2006
  9. ^ https://www.fischerverlage.de/verlage/fischer_krueger, 24 April 2020
  10. ^ https://www.fischerverlage.de/verlage/fischer_scherz, 24 April 2020
  11. ^ Maughan, Shannon (1 October 2001). "Holtzbrinck Acquires Renaissance Media". Publishers Weekly. United States: PWxyz LLC. Retrieved 8 March 2017.