GÜTERSLOH, GERMANY — Media giant Bertelsmann, parent of BMG, announced plans on Wednesday to become the sole owner of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest publishing company. Bertelsmann will acquire the remaining 25% stake of the publisher now held by its British co-shareholder Pearson, increasing its own stake to 100 percent, at the purchase price of $675 million.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020. Bertelsmann chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe said as part of the deal, Germany-based Verlagsgruppe Random House will become part of the Penguin Random House umbrella. Once approved, the publishing group will be comprised of more than 300 imprints across six continents.
"The increase to 100 percent is a milestone for Bertelsmann," said Rabe, who is also chairman of the board of directors of Random House. "We will become the sole owner of the world’s biggest trade publishing group, which sets standards with its creative diversity, global marketing power, and commercial strength. We will continue to expand Penguin Random House in the coming years, through organic growth and acquisitions. The book business is part of Bertelsmann's identity. For us and our shareholders, the transaction is commercially attractive, as the share of Bertelsmann’s shareholders in group profit will increase by more than €70 million per year."