A week after announcing that it was forming a joint venture with Pearson to create Penguin Random House, Bertelsmann said this morning that it has agreed to acquire the 50% stake in the Spanish-language publisher Random House Mondadori that had been held by its Italian partner. The purchase is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Founded in 2001 by Bertelsmann and Mondadori, the Barcelona-based publisher will continue to be headed by Nuria Cabuti as CEO. Random House Mondadori’s divisions publish adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction in print hardcover, trade and mass market paperback, and e-book formats with such imprints as Plaza & Janés, Grijalbo, Lumen, Mondadori, and Sudamericana. Spanish and international literary authors will continue to be published under the Mondadori imprint. The company’s biggest-selling titles of 2012 included the Fifty Shades trilogy. Also continuing as a priority under Random House’s ownership will be the joint venture between Random House Mondadori and the Knopf Doubleday Group division of Random House, Inc., which has helped the latter’s Vintage Español imprint grow to become one of the largest of Spanish-language trade publishers in the U.S. Bertelsmann further noted that RH/Mondadori (which will change its corporate name), will become part of Penguin Random House when that deal is completed next year.
Thomas Rabe, Chairman of Bertelsmann, said, “Bertelsmann believes in the creative and commercial potential of the book business and, by maximizing its holding in Random House Mondadori, is embracing an opportunity to significantly improve both its position in the Spanish book market and its access to the growing Spanish-language markets of Latin America. We are very grateful to Mondadori for our longstanding and successful partnership.”