Penguin and Random House To Merge
A humungous deal that will merge Patricia Cornwell and Nora Roberts publisher Penguin and E.L. James and George R.R. Martin publisher Random House. The new publishing giant would publish a quarter of all books in the United States.
If approved by regulators, the merger would combined British-owned Pearson and German-owned Bertelsmann – the parent companies of the publishing houses.
News Corp., owned by Rupert Murdoch, had previously bid $1.6 billion to buy Pearson. News Corp is the parent company of HarperCollins.
The terms state that the businesses will be combined into one giant named Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann will own 53% as compared to Pearson’s 47%.
“I have no doubt that some authors, agents and customers will express concern to many of us that this merger will reduce choice and competition. We believe that exactly the opposite will happen,” said John Makinson, chairman of Penguin as well as the new company.
“The publishing imprints of the two companies will remain as they are today, competing for the very best authors and the very best books,” Makinson said. “But our access to investment resources will also allow Penguin Random House to take risks with new authors, to defend our creative and editorial independence, to publish the broadest range of books on the planet.”