Bertelsmann has completed the acquisition of Pearson's remaining 25% stake in Penguin Random House, making it the sole owner of the world's largest trade publisher. The sale, which was announced last December, is valued at approximately $675 million. The acquisition marks the end of nearly a half-century in which Pearson has been involved with the company, first as owner of Penguin and later as co-stakeholder in PRH.
“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,” Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann and chairman of the board of Penguin Random House, said. “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. We will ensure that our book business can continue to expand through organic growth and acquisitions in future, and remain a home for the world’s best creative talent.”
With the completion of the acquisition, German-language publishing group Verlagsgruppe Random House will be integrated into Penguin Random House. The Munich-based publishing group will add 45 imprints to Penguin Random House's slate of 320, which span six continents. While these have already been fully owned by Bertelsmann, and previously reported to Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, they are now fully merged with the publisher; their “publishing independence,” the company said, "remains unaffected."