Publishing houses Random House and Penguin are to merge, with current owners Bertelsmann and Pearson respectively taking a 57/43% stake in the new joint venture.
The two partners say they want to create “the world’s leading consumer publishing organisation”.
The new Penguin Random House will not include Bertelsmann’s trade publishing business in Germany and Pearson will retain rights to use the Penguin brand in education markets worldwide.
In a statement Bertelsmann and Pearson say Penguin Random House “will have a stronger platform and greater resources to invest in rich content, new digital publishing models and high-growth emerging markets.”
Bertelsmann will nominate five directors to the new company’s Board and Pearson will nominate four.
Penguin chairman and chief executive John Makinson will be chairman of Penguin Random House and Markus Dohle, currently chief executive of Random House, will be its chief executive.
Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, said: “Penguin is a successful, highly-respected and much-loved part of Pearson. This combination with Random House – a company with an almost perfect match of Penguin’s culture, standards and commitment to publishing excellence – will greatly enhance its fortunes and its opportunities.
“Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers.“
Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “With this planned combination, Bertelsmann and Pearson create the best course for new growth for our world-renowned trade-book publishers, to enable them to publish even more effectively across traditional and emerging formats and distribution channels.
“It will build on our publishing tradition, offering an extraordinary diversity of publishing opportunities for authors, agents, booksellers, and readers, together with unequalled support and resources.”