The De Boeck Group: Our ambitions
Since Albert De Boeck opened the family bookshop in 1883, the publishing group, which still carries his name, has evolved considerably. However, nowadays the entire panorama of educational, academic, legal and business publishing is being revolutionised. Digital technology, in particular, has brought change, enrichment, concern. How will books evolve? There are as many answers as there are uncertainties. At De Boeck, our principal challenges are the same as they have always been: listening to children, teachers and business people - the first line actors in this tide of change - and understanding what they want. After this, we strive to guarantee a wide and diverse range of publications, to offer both reference books and civic education books in the most suitably adapted format.
As Belgium is a small market, we are used to crossing boundaries. Some of our books have been translated into fifteen languages.
Amongst other things, De Boeck has made a prominent breakthrough into the French market in the difficult sectors of academic and scientific publishing. They have built close relationships with major non-French speaking publishing companies which, in some fields, have found a sought after partner for translating reference books into French.
These books are widely distributed abroad: in France, Canada, Switzerland, North Africa in particular, and also in Africa through cooperation agreements.
We invite you to take a trip across our sites to discover the richness of our catalogue and our publications, regardless of the format!
A bit of history...
1985-1999: Building a Group
The company founded by Albert De Boeck in 1883 in Brussels, when he bought the Castaigne bookshop, remained a sedate educational publishing environment for a century, being handed down from generation to generation.
Significant development occurred during the 1980s and 1990s, which propelled the De Boeck Group to the top of the league of Belgian publishing companies alongside Casterman and Dupuis. From 1985 onwards, the Group has been set-up progressively, by the regrouping and acquisition of various publishing houses, some of which were created in the 18th century.
- 1985 Merger of two Belgian educational publishers Wesmael-Charlier and A. De Boeck
- 1986 Creation of De Boeck Université
- 1987 Acquisition of Dessain, an educational publisher specialising in classical languages
- 1992 Acquisition of Larcier, specialising in legal publishing
- 1993 Acquisition of Duculot
Since 2000: Expansion and development
From 2000 onwards, the Group made two further acquisitions in Flanders, the educational publishers De Sikkel and the educational wing of Standaard Uitgeverij, now regrouped under the name of De Boeck.
This period, marked by the digital revolution, also saw the creation of DBiT, a Group subsidiary specialising in electronic document management, and the acquisition of the Belgian tax information portal FiscalNet.
The diversification of activities also has a geographical dimension: the acquisition in France of medical publishers Estem (2002) and the creation of De Boeck Diffusion, a French marketing subsidiary. These two developments are an indication of the Group’s will to strengthen its presence in France.
In January 2011, the legal wing of the Group was strengthened by the takeover of Bruylant, a Belgian, family-owned legal publisher. Since becoming associated, both Larcier and Bruylant will now be better equipped to rise to the challenges they face. This agreement implies the expansion of the De Boeck Group’s dealings in the legal field, and notably in the key sectors of digital publishing and international development.
Simultaneously, the De Boeck Group and Oxford University Press (OUP) have announced a distribution partnership: by becoming the exclusive supplier and distributor of the "English Language Teaching" (ELT) catalogue of the British publisher (in Belgium and Luxembourg), De Boeck increases its English learning educational range.
With continual progress being made in IT and communication, the world of knowledge and publishing has entered a period of accelerated transformation which has not been seen since the invention of printing, over 500 years ago.