Pearson PLC will merge its Penguin Books division with Random House, which is owned by German media company Bertelsmann, in an all-share deal that will create the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.
The planned joint venture brings together classic and bestselling names. As well as publishing books from authors such as John Grisham, Random House scored a major hit this year with “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Penguin has a strong backlist, including George Orwell, Jack Kerouac and John Le Carre.
The two companies said Monday that Bertelsmann would own a controlling 53% share of the joint venture, which will be known as Penguin Random House.
Bertelsmann would keep full control of Verlagsgruppe Random House, its trade publishing business in Germany, and Pearson would retain the right to use the Penguin brand in education.