Macauley Publishers, the publisher of the world’s most widely used textbooks, is in talks to sell its publishing rights to a Chinese company.
The deal would give the company access to a market of more than a billion textbooks and be valued at nearly $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
It would be the largest textbook publisher in the world, said the people, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and asked not to be identified discussing the private negotiations.
The new arrangement would also give Macauleys publisher access to an estimated $1.5 billion in revenue from textbook sales in China, according the people.
Macaulys chief executive, John A. Macaulay, declined to comment.
Macauley and its publishing arm, the Macaulays Publishing Group, have had trouble finding buyers for their vast library of textbooks, which is one reason textbook publishers are now asking for more than $50 billion in debt relief from China.
Macaoley, which publishes about 10 million books a year, has already spent $6 billion on its books.
Macaulays publisher is owned by Macaulleys publishing company, which has struggled with rising costs and debt and has lost $1 million a day since November.
The Macaulys Publishing Group has said the publishing company’s debts could reach $6.5 million.
Maculay has said he will continue to pursue acquisitions, but has said that he is also considering selling his publishing company and moving into the textbook market.
Macaoley has faced increasing competition in China as a result of an unprecedented influx of foreign students in recent years.
The Chinese government, for example, has cracked down on online gambling and banned the sale of fake textbooks.
Maclauley, whose textbook portfolio includes some 3 million titles, has faced an onslaught of criticism from Chinese academics and other academics who argue that its textbooks have not improved the quality of the countrys textbooks and that its publishers have not made enough progress in improving Chinese education.
MacLauley’s Chinese publishing company also faces growing pressure from government officials in Beijing, who are pushing to ban its Chinese publishers from selling textbooks.