Pick up a Penguin

Pearson, which owns Penguin and the Financial Times, has been holding talks with Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House. But will Rupert Murdoch come to the party?

The new this week, [October 25th 2012] of talks between Penguin and Bertelsmann, could lead to a reshaping of book publishing, if it came about.

This one is a biggie

The industry sector is undergoing a revolution as e-publishing gathers pace. Mergers are likely. This one is a biggie. Splitting out the publishing figures shows that Penguin currently has annual sales of almost £1bn, and Random House £1.4bn. The merged company would become a top-six player in book publishing.

Enter stage right

But as the news broke, fresh stories from The Australian that Rupert Murdoch is interested in bidding for Penguin.

And that would make the tale even more interesting.

The merger between Pearson and Random House was rapidly confirmed. By Monday [October 29th 2012]

According to sharecast:

Under the terms of the agreement, Penguin and Random House will combine their businesses in a newly-created joint venture named Penguin Random House.

However, it will not be a merger of equals, with Random House’s parent firm, Bertelsmann, to own 53% of the joint venture and Pearson taking 47%.

Bertelsmann will nominate five directors to the board of the new company and Pearson will nominate four.

Marjorie Scardino, Chief Executive of Pearson, said the combination would “greatly enhance” Penguin’s fortunes and its opportunities.

To be continued

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