Penguin and Random House publishers complete merger

Wed, 03 Jul 2013

Months after confirming plans to merge, Penguin and Random House have finalised their £2.4 billion deal after clearing regulatory hurdles.

The two large book publishers will join forces against increasing uncertainty in the fluctuating book industry, which has been bombarded by challenges from the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple, alongside the rise of e-books and heavy discounting from booksellers. Pearson, owner of Penguin, and Bertelsmann, owner of Random House, hope that the joined forces will be able to withstand the increasing pressures from competitors.

The head office for the enlarged business will be in New York, and will have a workforce exceeding 10,000 across countries including Canada, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, the UK and US.

Together they will command about 27 per cent of the UK book market and 25 per cent in the US, and may succeed in overtaking Hachette to become the largest publisher in the world.

Thomas Rabe, chairman for Bertelsmann, said, “Together, we can and will invest on a much larger scale than separately in diverse content, author development and support, the publishing talent, the entire spectrum of physical and digital book acquisitions, production, marketing, and distribution, and also in fast-growing markets of the future.”

Changes in management at the new Penguin Random House venture will include Markus Dohle, the former chief executive of Random House as the chief executive of the new company with John Makinson, the former Penguin chief executive, as chairman.

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