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Penguin and Random House Merge to Become Publishing Powerhouse

|Oct 29|magazine7 min read

 

Penguin and Random House announced today their planned merger that is expected to create a leading consumer publishing organization branded as Penguin Random House.

Agreed upon by both publishers’ holding companies, Pearson and Bertelsmann, both brands bring important attributes to the merger table such as Random House’s position as leading English Language publisher in the US and UK and Penguin’s recognition as the world’s most famous publishing brand.

As a part of this agreement, Bertelsmann, owner of Random House, will own 53% of the joint venture while Pearson, owner of Penguin, will own 47%. Nominations to the Board of Directors for Penguin Random House will include five from Bertelsmann and four from Pearson. The CEO role will be filled by Markus Dohle, currently CEO of Random House, and John Makinson, currently Chairman and CEO of Penguin, will become Chairman.

"Penguin is a successful, highly-respected and much-loved part of Pearson. This combination with Random House — a company with an almost perfect match of Penguin's culture, standards and commitment to publishing excellence — will greatly enhance its fortunes and its opportunities. Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers,” said Marjorie Scardino, CEO, Pearson.

 

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This merger is expected by Pearson and Bertelsmann to create a major international publishing house with a stronger platform and greater resources that can and will invest in credible content, digital publishing opportunities and emerging markets.

"With this planned combination, Bertelsmann and Pearson create the best course for new growth for our world-renowned trade-book publishers, to enable them to publish even more effectively across traditional and emerging formats and distribution channels. It will build on our publishing tradition, offering an extraordinary diversity of publishing opportunities for authors, agents, booksellers, and readers, together with unequalled support and resources,” Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann.

The merger is subject to customary regulatory approvals and expected to close in the second half of 2013.