Announcing the purchase from Houghton Mifflin, which bought Gollancz three years ago, Cassell said that there would be no job losses, although the Gollancz operation would close and move a short distance from its offices in Covent Garden to the Strand, in the West End of London.
Stephen Bray resigned as managing director of Victor Gollancz, but he will continue to work for Gollancz Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin. In a separate deal, Houghton Mifflin has become a shareholder in Cassell.
Cassell and Houghton Mifflin have a strong record in non-fiction, reference and academic publishing. When Houghton Mifflin bought Gollancz, the purchase was viewed as an attempt to add a fiction division. The Cassell purchase is likely to be viewed in the same way.
Philip Sturrock, chairman of Cassell, said the company was 'delighted to add a distinguished and high-profile name' to its stable. Nader Darehshori, president of Houghton Mifflin, said the new links with Cassell 'provides increased opportunities . . . in the UK and Europe'.
Livia Gollancz, former chairwoman of Gollancz, said she was relieved there were no job losses. 'My only concern was that no one, other than the managing director, should lose their job. That is the best one can hope for and that would seem to be the case.'