It's Official: Random House and Penguin Have Merged

Posted on July 1, 2013

It's official: Penguin and Random House have merged. After getting all the needed government approvals the companies closed the deal today. Bertelsmann owns 53% and Pearson owns 47% of the company. The new company is called Penguin Random House, although quite a few people are calling it Random Penguin, which has a friendlier, more whimsical vibe. But whimsical is not a word we generally associate with globe-encompassing conglomerates.

Chief Executive Officer Markus Dohle announced the merger closing in a statement in which he described how it's all going to work going forward. The new company now owns the adult and children's fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India; Penguin's trade publishing activity in Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House's companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile. Random House's German-language publishing group, Verlagsgruppe Random House, is outside the venture, and remains part of Bertelsmann, continuing to report to Mr. Dohle.

Penguin Random House is huge. It will have more than 10,000 employees scattered across five continents. As of today it has 250 separate imprints (we'll see how long that lasts) and publishes more than 15,000 new titles each year. It has 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world's bestselling authors.

Dohle had this to say about the merger: "Today, Penguin and Random House officially unite to create the first truly global trade book publishing company. As separate companies, we have long performed outstandingly by every benchmark; as colleagues, we will share and apply our passion for publishing the best books with our enormous experience, creativity, and entrepreneurial drive. Together, we will give our authors unprecedented resources to help them reach global audiences - and we will provide readers with unparalleled diversity and choice for future reading. Connecting authors and readers is, and will be, at the heart of all we strive to accomplish together."