On Monday, Oct. 29, Pearson and Bertelsmann announced that Random House and Penguin will merge and become Penguin Random House. The new company will comprise all English, Spanish, and Portuguese language interests of Penguin and Random House.
Bertelsmann will own 53 percent of the shares and Pearson will hold the remaining 47 percent. In regards to leadership, Penguin Group chairman John Makinson will become the chairman of Penguin Random House, and Random House chairman and CEO Markus Dohle will be CEO.
In a letter to Penguin Group employees, Makinson says, “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. I believe, and so I know does Markus, that exactly the opposite will happen. The publishing imprints of the two companies will remain as they are today, competing for the very best authors and the very best books. 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, and to do it all with the attention to quality that has always characterized both Penguin and Random House.”
Dohle, in a letter to Random House authors, explains that Penguin Random House will retain the “distinct identities of both companies’ imprints” and authors will benefit from “an extraordinary breadth of publishing choices and editorial talents and experience. Our Random House imprint leadership remains endowed with creative autonomy, and financial resources, to decide which books to publish, and how to publish them. We expect this to continue in our new business ... Your relationship with your editor and your publishing team will be unaffected by the new company.”
The deal is expected to close in 2013 (pending approval from government regulators).
Learn more about the merger at:
- Penguin, Random House Ink Deal
- Dohle Addresses Booksellers, Authors and Agents about Merger
- Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die: What the Random/Penguin Merger Means to You