Shamrock buys audiobook publisher Recorded Books

Shamrock Capital Advisors has acquired Maryland-based audiobook publisher Recorded Books. No financial terms were disclosed. Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc provided financial advice to Recorded Books on the transaction.


PRINCE FREDERICK, MD, JULY 31, 2015 – Shamrock Capital Advisors LLC (“Shamrock”), on behalf of its private equity fund Shamrock Capital Growth Fund III, has acquired Recorded Books (“Recorded Books” or the “Company”), a leading independent publisher of audiobooks in the United States, in partnership with senior management. Shamrock, which is acquiring Recorded Books from an affiliate of Wasserstein & Co.,LP, will help the Company continue to expand its content publishing activities while pursuing strategic growth opportunities. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Recorded Books is the largest independent publisher of audiobooks and provider of digital media to consumer, retail, professional, school, library, and infotainment markets in the United States. The Company maintains an exclusive catalog of more than 23,000 audiobook titles, a number that has grown from 13,000 exclusive titles in 2013. The Company has an international presence with additional operations in the United Kingdom through its W.F. Howes subsidiary and in Australia through its Wavesound subsidiary. Recorded Books and Shamrock are looking forward to working together to leverage Recorded Books’ prominent status as an audiobooks publisher in order to continue to grow the Company’s content offerings while further solidifying its leadership positions in its core markets.

Richard Freese, CEO of Recorded Books, said, “We have known Shamrock for several years and are excited to partner with them to continue to grow our business. Shamrock has a deep understanding of our industry and the customers we serve, and we feel they can add significant value as we continue our impressive organic growth.”

“Recorded Books has built a leading audiobooks business since its inception in 1979,” said Mike LaSalle, Partner at Shamrock. “We have been impressed by the Company’s performance and look forward to working with the Recorded Books management team. As technology continues to drive growth within the broader audio content landscape, Recorded Books is uniquely positioned to benefit due to its high quality catalog, deep publisher, author and agent relationships, and its direct sales force that sells both Recorded Books and third party content into the library channel.”

Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. acted as financial advisor to the Company. Jones Day served as legal advisor to the Company. Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Shamrock.

About Shamrock

Shamrock Capital Advisors, LLC is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm with over $700 million of assets under management. Investing exclusively in the media, entertainment, and communications sectors, Shamrock partners with strong management teams and takes an active, collaborative approach to creating value in each investment. Shamrock is currently investing out of Shamrock Capital Growth Fund III, a $400 million fund raised in 2011. Shamrock’s current investments include FanDuel, Giant Creative/Strategy, Isolation Network, Mobilitie, Questex, Recorded Books, Screenvision and T3Media. For more information, visit

About Recorded Books

Recorded Books is the leading independent publisher of audiobooks in the United States, with additional operations in the United Kingdom and Australia. The Company acquires exclusive audiobook rights from authors, agents and publishers, and monetizes this content by selling into both the public library and retail channels. Recorded Books has built a deep catalog of over 23,000 proprietary titles, including works by J.R.R. Tolkien, Dean Koontz, Robyn Carr, Alexander McCall Smith, Charlaine Harris and Diana Gabaldon. The Company has a direct sales force that has developed longstanding relationships with public libraries from selling into the channel for over 20 years. The Company has leveraged this unique distribution model to sell additional third party content, including e-books and database products such as digital magazines, language learning and test prep services.

Recorded Books is headquartered in Prince Frederick, Maryland and has approximately 320 employees. For more information, visit