Penguin and Random House merge

Random House and Penguin Group have completed a planned merger which creates the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.

Parent companies Bertelsmann and Pearson said they signed the final contracts today to combine the global activities of the two publishers and create Penguin Random House. Random House parent Bertelsmann will hold 53% of the new company and Penguin owner Pearson 47%.

Penguin Random House will include top-selling authors such as Dan Brown and Ken Follett and a vast back catalogue ranging from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

Random House chief executive Markus Dohle becomes chief executive of the privately-held new group, based in New York. Penguin chief executive John Makinson will be the chairman of its board of directors.

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