Royal Van Gorcum in Assen sold. Publisher divests two parts: ‘It is not inconceivable that the company will move’

Koninklijke Van Gorcum Publishers in Assen has been sold. There is a real chance that the well-known book publisher will eventually move to another building, because two parts are being divested.

Director Kor IJszenga confirms this. Most of the two-hundred-year-old company has been sold to the existing management. Gerwin Klingenberg, Marco de Vries and Richard Verschuur will take over the educational and professional publishing branch from April 1 this year with books and magazines for higher professional education students and professionals.

Nothing will change for employees working in this branch: they will keep their jobs. The new three-person management will also continue to use the name Uitgeverij Van Gorcum BV.

Disposing of two activities

Koninklijke Van Gorcum is a well-known publisher in the field of Drenthe culture and history. This culture and history branch will be split off, just like the digital products for primary education. Both activities end up in different hands. The employees are expected to move to new owners.

According to IJszenga, there is already a privateer on the coast for the digital products, but not yet for the culture and history section. “The sales process is ongoing,” says 61-year-old IJszenga. In a press release he expresses the expectation that he will transfer both activities to a new owner in the foreseeable future. “We will communicate about this at a later time.”

Moving within Assen?

Due to the disposal of two parts, it is expected that Koninklijke Van Gorcum will leave the stately mansion on the Oostersingel, where the Friesland Bank previously had its offices. “Eventually the building will become too big. Once everything has been completed, it is not inconceivable that the publishing house will move to another location. But the intention is for Van Gorcum to stay in Assen,” says IJszenga.

Van Gorcum moved from Industrieweg to Oostersingel in 2017. At the time, the building on Industrieweg was too large after the division and sale of the printing branch.

Family business tradition

Although no descendants of Van Gorcum are anymore connected to the publishing house, the company still has the character of a family business. It is now almost a tradition that the director sells the company to management. Kor IJszenga bought the company in 2009 from Louwe Dijkema, who took over from the then director in 1995. “I am extremely pleased that our most important activities are being continued by our own people.”

IJszenga, also known in Assen as chairman of Ondernemend Assen, is stepping down after the takeover. It is not yet known what he will do. “But I still have plenty to do. Including on all kinds of boards.”

‘Ambitious plans’

The new co-owner Marco de Vries said in a press statement that he is pleased with the opportunity he has been given. “The focus on the Educational-Professional fund creates space for our ambitious and innovative plans. Together with the well-known team, we look forward to continuing the collaboration with existing relationships and are happy to continue building this wonderful company.”