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Random House and Penguin have completed their long-awaited merger, thus creating the world’s largest publishing house: Penguin Random House.
The merger was originally announced last October by Bertelsmann and Pearson, the parent companies of Random House and Penguin, respectively. Under the terms of their agreement, Bertelsmann would own 57 percent of the company and Penguin would own 43 percent. The merger received swift approval from regulatory authorities in the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and China.
Penguin Random House is expected to control of 25 percent of the American trade book market and 27 percent of the United Kingdom’s. It will have over 10,000 employees and will publish over 15,000 new titles each year across 250 separate imprints. Its annual revenues are estimated to be in the neighborhood of $3.9 billion.
Random House’s CEO, Markus Dohle, will become the first CEO of the new company. “It is a great privilege to be asked to lead this historic union of Random House and Penguin. We are uniting two of the world’s leading book publishers, with complementary skills and strengths, both with outstanding creative and commercial track records, with a passion for publishing the best books, and with two strong traditions from which the new company will develop its own culture – in the best interests of the readers, who will benefit from the quality and enormous variety of books we will publish,” he said.
Meanwhile, Penguin’s CEO and Chairman, John Makinson, is to become Chairman of Penguin Random House’s Board of Directors, which will include five directors nominated by Bertelsmann and four nominated by Pearson.
“With today’s launch of Penguin Random House, Bertelsmann and Pearson have set a great course for the future of the book, and book publishing – and new growth for Bertelsmann,” Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe said in a press release. “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.”
In a bid to calm nervous employees, leaders at Penguin Random House have stated that there are no immediate plans to layoff employees or terminate imprints. For now, the focus will be on harmonizing corporate infrastructure.
Photo Courtesy of Raimund Vornbäumen