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Birkhäuser Announces Purchase of Book Publisher Ambra

July 2, 2014

The Austrian book publisher Ambra, a subsidiary of Medecco Holding GmbH, was purchased yesterday by the Basel-based architectural publisher Birkhäuser. Ambra was founded in 2013 as a spin-off of Springer's art and architecture division in Vienna and New York.

Reinhold Gmeinbauer, CEO of Medecco Holding, explains: "From the very beginning we planned to sell the publishing house to a strategic investor. Medecco Holding is specialized in high quality magazines for elite customers; for legal reasons, Ambra was bound with the architecture magazine Architektur.Aktuell and, for legal reasons, could only be separated from the magazine with Ambra's sale." Gmeinbauer adds: "Birkhäuser has always been an important partner to us. I'm pleased that Birkhäuser, which is renowned worldwide and has a great publishing tradition, will provide a new home for Ambra's publishing portfolio."

More than 450 publications are available in Ambra’s catalog, including titles from the prestigious architectural firms Coop Himmelblau and Baumschlager Eberle. Each year, Ambra releases approximately 50 new titles in the areas of art, culture, and architecture. Ambra also offers publications in cooperation with the Vienna University of Applied Arts.

"The books published by Ambra already have a strong affinity to Birkhäuser's publications, as they have been marketed jointly for some time now," says Dr. Ulrich Schmidt, Senior Editorial Director at Birkhäuser. "Considering Ambra's entire portfolio was available for acquisition, it was a great opportunity for us to strengthen our catalog and further expand our network."

The Ambra team, which is composed of Angela Fössl, Angelika Heller, and David Marold, will continue to manage the portfolio for Birkhäuser in Vienna.