John Wiley & Sons might not adorn its books with shirtless hunks, but with such titles as Patty's Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, who needs Fabio? The company publishes scientific, technical, and medical works, including journals and reference works such as Current Protocols and Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. In total, it publishes more than 1,600 journal titles. It also produces professional and nonfiction trade books, and is a publisher of college textbooks. The firm publishes the For Dummies how-to series, the travel guide brand Frommer's, and CliffsNotes study guides, as well. Wiley has publishing, marketing, and distribution centers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Wiley's core business is its Scientific, Technical, Medical and Scholarly (STMS) division, which accounts for nearly 60% of sales. The division's Wiley-Blackwell unit is a leading publisher of journals and books for the academic, research, and professional markets focused on science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and humanities.
STMS's Wiley Online Library hosts a multidisciplinary collection of online resources covering a broad range of academic subjects. All total,Wiley Online provides access to some 4 million articles from 1,500 journals and 10,00 books, as well as hundreds of reference works and databases.
Wiley also operates a Professional/Trade division (25% of sales), which publishes a range of books including the For Dummies series. In addiiton, its Higher Education division (17% of sales) publishes textbooks and other educational materials and operates WileyPLUS, an online teaching and learning tool that offers resources such as digital text books, homework management, and online grade books.
The company reported positive earnings in 2012, thanks to revenue growth in STMS, lower debt financing costs, and tax benefits. Wiley also reported lower journal production costs due to off-shoring, as well as an increase in the sale of digital products.
Despite this financial success, in 2012 it announced plans to divest certain assets in its Professional/Trade division, the company's second-largest revenue generator (about 25% of sales). The division includes titles published under the For Dummies, Frommer's, Betty Crocker, Weight Watchers, CliffsNotes, and Webster's New World brands. Wiley has stated it is making the divestiture to accelerate its digital transformation, drive long-term growth, and focus on its core operations. It plans to retain the For Dummies brand, which has sold more than 200 million copies of some 1,600 titles.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Meanwhile, the company expanded its Higher Education division in 2012 through the acquisition of higher educational publisher Harlan Davidson. Wiley is using the deal to boost its offerings in topics such as world history and state history; Harlan Davidson publishes mainly history textbooks for use in two and four-year colleges.
Later in 2012 Wiley agreed to acquire Deltak.edu, a privately held Chicago-based provider of higher education and online learning services, for $220 million. It is making the purchase to accelerate its digital learning strategy and diversify Wiley's offerings to include operational and academic solutions for higher education institutions.
Another part of the company's growth comes from strategic partnerships and content licenses. Wiley is the exclusive global publisher of Bloomberg and Bloomberg Businessweek branded books, marketed as "BLOOMBERG PRESS®, a Wiley imprint." In addition, the company publishes Meredith books in the lifestyles, pets, and education categories, and has the rights to publish a list of business and modern language textbooks from Cengage Learning.
The Wiley family controls the majority of voting stock (about 55%) through a trust.