GUETERSLOH – Bertelsmann now owns 100% of shares in Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade publishing group. The media conglomerate, which owns music company BMG, had needed regulatory approvals in able to complete its purchase of the remaining 25% of PRH from rival Pearson.
Penguin Random House is home to around 320 individual book publishing imprints across six continents, with more than 15,000 new publications and over 600 million titles sold per year. For Bertelsmann, the transaction, valued at approximately $675 million, is economically advantageous, as the share of Bertelsmann’s shareholders in group profit will increase by more than €70 million per year.
“The completion of this transaction has a historic dimension for Bertelsmann,” noted Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of the company. “185 years after C. Bertelsmann Verlag was founded by the printer and bookbinder Carl Bertelsmann, our company will become the sole owner of the undisputed global market leader in book publishing.”
He added, “We are proud of the creative diversity, publishing quality, and commercial and entrepreneurial strength of our book publishing business, to which many of the most popular authors from all over the world entrust their literary work.”
Rabe affirmed that Bertelsmann intends to develop Penguin Random House over the long term and with continuity: “Books in all formats have a bright future. Their high degree of relevance is particularly evident at present during the coronavirus crisis, when many people are looking for knowledge and entertainment – and are finding it in books.”
Announced in December, the full acquisition of Penguin Random House by Bertelsmann was approved by the European Union in mid-March, and subsequently also by the Austrian competition authorities.