Thursday, June 02, 2011

EBSCO Publishing and The H.W. Wilson Company Make Joint Announcement of Merger Agreement

In a significant deal announced late Wednesday, EBSCO and HW Wilson have agreed a merger agreement that will combine the operations of EBSCO Publishing and HW Wilson. Many have tried to unravel the complicated ownership structure of the Wilson company over the years but it was inevitable that a company would eventually succeed. Wilson has many valuable content assets however it would an understatement to say they've not been as aggressive as EBSCO has been in developing online and mobile applications. No doubt EBSCO sees significant opportunities in leveraging the Wilson content in many new and interesting ways. No word on terms or what this will mean for the employees located in the time capsule in the Bronx.

Here is the EBSCO/Wilson press release:

EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) and The H.W. Wilson Company (Wilson) have merged in what is being viewed by the companies as an ideal match. This combination of organizations will allow the strengths of each to benefit existing and forthcoming products & services.

With 180 combined years of experience serving libraries, EBSCO and Wilson have traveled similar paths, but have maintained unique advantages and abilities. Libraries using products from either company will benefit as improvements are made to the respective resources. Wilson database products are known for their quality indexing. The Wilson subject thesaurus and Wilson “names” authority file are largely considered the best of their kind, and the WilsonWeb platform systematically leverages this valuable indexing within its searching to provide high quality, relevant results to end users. The Wilson controlled vocabularies will be integrated into EBSCO’s controlled vocabularies, resulting in improved subject indexing for EBSCO databases. The EBSCOhost® platform will be enhanced to take advantage of this indexing in its search and relevancy ranking algorithms.

According to Tim Collins, President of EBSCO Publishing, this acquisition leads directly to heightening the value and quality of EBSCO and Wilson resources. “Upholding the integrity of the Wilson indexing is essential, and extending these attributes to EBSCOhost resources is a critical part of this venture. When it comes to thesauri (subjects and names), and how these are leveraged, Wilson has long been an industry leader. We look forward to bringing this value and approach to all applicable EBSCOhost databases and are excited about the benefits this will bring to EBSCOhost users. We are also pleased to be able to add the Wilson databases into the EBSCO Discovery Service search experience”

Harry Regan, President & CEO for Wilson, commented, “EBSCO and H.W. Wilson have been engaged as business partners for a number of years and are now officially operating as one. The result will be a broader and deeper range of products and services for the library reference community with significantly added value. Both companies have had separate, distinctive histories, but have always shared a common commitment for the highest order of customer satisfaction.”

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