German conglomerate Bertelsmann is now the sole owner of Penguin Random House after Pearson sold them its 25% ownership stake for an estimated $675 million. The deal is expected to be complete in the spring. Pearson owned Penguin, and Bertelsmann owned Random House, before the merger in 2012, at which point Bertelsmann had a 53% share and Pearson 47%. Pearson later sold 22% of its shares to the other company in 2017.
Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann Chairman and CEO, says, “The increase to 100% is a milestone for Bertelsmann. For us and our shareholders, the transaction is commercially attractive, as the share of Bertelsmann shareholders in group profile will increase by more than €70 million per year.”
PRH CEO Markus Dohle says, “The full acquisition of Penguin Random House is a testament to Bertelsmann’s belief in the future of books and reading, as well as their trust in our colleagues around the world to be able to grow our company over the next several years.”
Pearson CEO John Fallon released a statement saying, “For almost 50 years, Pearson has been proud to play our part in the publishing and commercial success of first Penguin and then more recently Penguin Random House. With the sale of our remaining stake to our partners… we know the company is in good hands.” Fallon will step down as CEO at the end of 2020.
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