Random House and Penguin in Talks over Potential Merger

In Global Trade Talk by Alex Mutter

By Alex Mutter

Pearson and Bertelsmann are in talks over a potential merger of Penguin and Random House, The Bookseller reported today. If successful, the merger would constitute a seismic shift in the global publishing industry.

A new home for the iconic Penguin?

Penguin’s parent company confirmed in a statement that “it is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House. The two companies have not reached agreement and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”

According to The Bookseller, Penguin and Random House together would account for approximately a quarter of the UK’s physical book market. Publishers Weekly came to the same conclusion for the US, where the combined companies would also command a 25% stake of the market.

The Financial Times, which first broke the story earlier today, reports that Bertelsmann may take a greater than fifty-percent stake should the merger go through, with John Makinson and Markus Dohle, chief executives of Penguin and Random House respectively, expected to retain “senior leadership roles.”

Via The Bookseller, The Financial Times, Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Alex Mutter