AP NEWS

Bertelsmann to take full control of Penguin Random House

December 18, 2019 GMT

BERLIN (AP) — Germany-based media and services company Bertelsmann says it will buy the 25% of publisher Penguin Random House that it doesn’t already own for $675 million.

Bertelsmann announced the purchase from British co-shareholder Pearson on Wednesday. It said that the transaction is expected to close in next year’s second quarter.

The company said that its wholly owned Verlagsgruppe Random House subsidiary in Germany will become part of Penguin Random House. It added that the New York-based publisher will have more than 300 publishing imprints on six continents once the deal is complete.

Bertelsmann combined its Random House book-publishing business with Pearson’s Penguin Group in 2013, with the German company initially holding 53% of the resulting company and Pearson holding 47%.

Bertelsmann increased its stake to 75% in 2017.

Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe said that “the increase to 100 percent is a milestone for Bertelsmann,” making it sole owner of the world’s biggest trade publishing group.

He added in a statement that “we will continue to expand Penguin Random House in the coming years, through organic growth and acquisitions.”