Penguin Enters Arab Market with Joint Venture

In Arabic Publishing by Hannah Johnson

penguin group

By Hannah Johnson

Pearson PLC announced today that its Penguin Group has launched a joint venture with Egyptian publisher Dar El Shorouk. The “Shorouk-Penguin project” will translate into Arabic 12 English-language titles from the Penguin Classics series, in addition to publishing up to eight original Arabic classics. The first titles will be available in early 2011.

According to the press release, Dar El Shorouk is a leading publishing company both in Egypt and the Arab market. The company has expanded to include magazines, television production and newspapers.

Dar el Shorouk logo

Penguin also has similar ventures in Brazil, China and South Korea. According to the Wall Street Journal, Penguin CEO John Makinson sees this venture as a way to gain entry into emerging markets “where economic growth and demographic shifts have been driving physical book sales.”

The WSJ article goes on to report that physical books are the primary focus of these ventures that Penguin has set up around the world, especially in Egypt. Although digital editions are planned, both Dar El Shorouk chairman Ibrahim El Moallem and Makinson expressed the opinion that e-books were not critical to the success of this joint venture.

READ: The Wall Street Journal coverage of the “Penguin-Shorouk project”

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.