In efforts to keep up with the explosion of eBooks and online retailers like Amazon.com, Random House and Penguin Group have agreed to merge as Penguin Random House, becoming the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.
Terms of the deal will see Gütersloh, Germany-based Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House, control 53% of the new company while Penguin Group’s UK-based owner Pearson take a 47% share.
Once the merger closes (expected in the second half of 2013 following regulatory approval), Random House worldwide chairman and CEO Markus Dohle will be named the new CEO of Penguin Random House with Penguin chairman and CEO John Makinson becoming chairman of the board of directors.
All publishing divisions and imprints of the two companies in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, as well as Penguin’s publishing company in China, and Random House’s Spanish-language publishing operations in Spain and Latin America will be included in the new group.
Random House’s Munich-based German-language publishing company, Verlagsgruppe Random House, will not join Penguin Random House and will remain with Bertelsmann.