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De Gruyter Completes Change of Legal Status

August 14, 2012

Walter De Gruyter GmbH & Co.KG has adopted a new legal form and is now operating as a limited liability company under the name Walter De Gruyter GmbH. The name De Gruyter will remain unchanged for branding purposes. With this change, the restructuring of the company that was initiated in 2011 is now complete.

"We want to channel all available resources toward international markets, which are growing at an ever-faster pace, while at the same time preserving the speed of our decision-making," says Sven Fund, Managing Director of De Gruyter. "Since 2011, De Gruyter has divested itself of property that it does not use. Furthermore, thanks to numerous acquisitions of publishing content, the company has clearly directed its focus on its core business as a publisher." Recent acquisitions include the open-access publisher Versita as well as the journal portfolio of the Berkeley Electronic Press. In addition, a De Gruyter subsidiary was opened in Peking in 2011. Birkhäuser, a Swiss publisher with a long tradition that was rescued from insolvency by De Gruyter, has been operating out of Basel since the beginning of August under the name Birkhäuser Verlag GmbH. Furthermore, De Gruyter is in the processing of taking over the evangelical publisher Evangelisches Verlagswerk GmbH, which is based in Trebbin, just outside Berlin.

As part of the strategic concentration of its publishing activities, De Gruyter will close both of its locations in Tübingen and Osnabrück by mid-2013. These closures will not lead to a loss of jobs.

"De Gruyter's strong growth has made organizational adjustments necessary so that we can continue to offer the best service to our authors and customers," Fund says. "This legal change is the capstone to our restructuring. With this decision, the publishing house's shareholders have made an important decision that will preserve freedom of action, both now and in the future, even if the company were to grow significantly larger. "