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Random House & Penguin To Merge

The major publishers Random House and Penguin have decided to join forces, creating a new entity called Penguin Random House. Random House worldwide CEO Markus Dohle will be CEO of the new group. Penguin CEO John Makinson will chair the board of directors.

Bertelsmann (the corporate parent of Random House) will control 53 percent and Pearson (the corporate parent of Penguin) will control 47 percent of the new publisher. The new entity will not include Bertelsmann’s German trade publishing business and Pearson decided to “retain rights to use the Penguin brand in education markets worldwide.” Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe had this comment in the release:

“With this planned combination, Bertelsmann and Pearson create the best course for the future of our world-renowned trade-book publishers, Random House and Penguin, by enabling 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 … Its significance for our business and for the cultural resonance of our book publishing operations worldwide is on a par with such momentous agreements as the takeover of Goldmann Verlag in 1977; the acquisition of a stake in Bantam Books, our first-ever U.S. investment, that same year; the purchase of Doubleday in 1986; and especially that of Random House in 1998. Each of these steps was aimed at increasing the breadth and quality of Bertelsmann’s publishing operations, as our new company will.”

The new company will combine all of Random House and Penguin’s business in the United States, Canada, the U.K., but it will also publishing business in Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, China, Spain and Latin American.

Follow this link to read the Pearson release, explaining how the merger “will generate synergies from shared resources such as warehousing, distribution, printing and central functions.”

 

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