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Egmont UK Limited, also known as Egmont Publishing UK or Egmont Books UK, is the current publisher of The Railway Series books and has the rights to release a variety of other Thomas & Friends books, including the My Thomas Story Library and Thomas Story Time ranges. Some books are published in the UK and Australia under the subsidiary Hardie Grant Egmont.

History

The Egmont Group was founded by Egmont Harald Petersen in 1878 as a one-man printing business, but soon became a magazine business. It was originally called "P. Petersen, Printers", named after Petersen's mother, as he was still too young at the time to register his own company. The company was renamed Gutenberghus in 1914 (after the famous inventor of the printing press), a name it kept until 1992.

Since 1948 Gutenberghus, looking for new opportunities, sent its editor Dan Folke to Walt Disney Productions, and he managed to acquire a license for publishing comic magazines in Scandinavia. In 1948 the company started to publish a Donald Duck comic magazine in Sweden (as Kalle Anka & C:o) and Norway (as Donald Duck & C:o), in 1949 also in Denmark (as Anders And & C:o). This magazine features all the well known Disney characters, from Mickey Mouse to Little Hiawatha under license from Disney.

With the acquisition in 1963 of the Danish publisher Aschehoug, Egmont also entered the book market. From the late 1980s the Egmont Group used the close connection with Disney to expand their Scandinavian focus to a global focus, being the producer of Disney for the new Eastern European market, as well as for the Chinese market. In 1991, Egmont was co-founder of the Norwegian television channel TV 2, before buying it outright in 2012. In 1992, Egmont bought Nordisk Film. In 1998 Egmont acquired the children's book catalogue of Reed Elsevier.

In 2008 they acquired the minority stake in magazine publisher Hjemmet Mortensen which they did not already hold, from Orkla ASA.

Egmont has a number of local country branches: Australia, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.

Egmont is one of Scandinavia's leading media groups producing weeklies, magazines, comics, books, educational materials, activity products, films and TV programmes. The media group also operates film theatres and TV stations, and the Egmont name is behind interactive games, game consoles, music and a wide range of digital media. Egmont publishes media in more than 30 countries, has 6,300 employees and generates revenue amounting to EUR 1.5 billion in 2014.

Egmont acquired Forma Publishing Group in October 2014. In January 2015, the company shut down its American publishing division.

In April 2020, Egmont Groups was acquired by HarperCollins Publishers.[1]

The Railway Series

On 25 April, 1998, Egmont UK acquired the children's book division of Reed International and the rights to publish The Railway Series.[2] In the same year, in spite of Christopher Awdry's opposition[3], they published reformatted versions of fourteen books from The Railway Series. However, many people who were fans of The Railway Series and Thomas in general were displeased with Egmont's reformatted versions of the books, as Egmont cropped, omitted and altered most of the illustrations. As a result, the new format was discontinued and scrapped due to negative feedback. Egmont eventually reverted the Railway series books that they published back in 1998 to their original state in 2004.

Then, Thomas and Victoria, which was intended to be published in 1997, was published by Egmont in 2007. In 2011, Thomas and his Friends was published and the Railway Series reached the final book.

In April 2020, Egmont UK was acquired by HarperCollins[1], but it's unclear if the publisher and the imprint will change.

Books

Trivia

  • Kaye & Ward remains in being, but dormant, as part of Egmont.[4]
  • The episodes Egmont did not publish were Jack Jumps In, A Friend in Need, Twin Trouble, Jack Frost and Buffer Bother because they were cancelled books.

References


External Links


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