PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE TO RAKE IN $3.9 BILLION ANNUAL REVENUE
The planned merger of Penguin and Random House has been finalised, with the publishing juggernaut to control 25% of the American trade book market under the name Penguin Random House.
Plans for the merger were announced by Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House, and Pearson, the owner of Penguin in October last year, with the merger since going through a series of regulatory approvals in the United States, Europe, China, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, all without condition.
Chief Executive Officer Markus Dohle announced the closing of the transaction by shareholders at the beginning of this week to formally establish the venture. Bertelsmann owns 53% and Pearson 47% of the company.
‘Today, Penguin and Random House officially unite to create the first truly global trade book publishing company,’ said Dohle.
‘Connecting authors and readers is, and will be, at the heart of all we strive to accomplish together,’
The adult and children’s fiction, nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing business of the two companies in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India will be combined, and will incorporate Penguin’s trade publishing activity in Asia and South Africa, Dorling Kindersley Worldwide and Random House’s companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentine, Uruguay, Colombia and Chile. Verlagsgruppe Random House, Random House’s German-language publishing group, will remain independent of the venture and part of Bertelsmann.
The publishing giant will operate over five continents where it will employ more than 10,000 people and will comprise close to 250 editorially independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish over 15,000 new titles per year. The New York Times estimates that Penguin Random House will make around $3.9 billion in annual revenue.
At the closing of today’s ventue, Chairman and CEO of Random House worldwide will assume the position of CEO, Penguin Random House and head of Penguin Group worldwide John Makinson will be Chariman of Penguin Random House.
‘Penguin Random House starts life today as a freshly minted company, but also as a creative enterprise that will draw on the greatest legacies in the history of book publishing. That heritage will help to frame the culture and personality of Penguin Random House as we place our extraordinary shared resources at the service of our authors, our customers, our readers, and our colleagues. It is an exciting day for all of us,’ Makinson said.
Of course, the merger of two major companies is inevitably going to result in a doubling-up of positions. While the executive team seems sorted there’s the fear that some employees will be made redundant.
Dohle told the New York Times that ‘The continuity will far outweigh the change. We have the luxury to take the time before we make any strategic decisions. There is no need to rush’.
This interview was conducted prior to Dohle embarking on a three-week round-the-world trip to visit employees, but the New York Times reports that, ‘There are no immediate plans for laying off employees or closing imprints’.
Penguin Random House’s Australian operations will be overseen by Ian Hudson, who will serve as Deputy CEO of Penguin Random House UK and CEO, Penguin Random House International (English Language), where aside from Australia, he will also be at the helm of the company’s New Zealand, Indian, South African and Asian operations.
Gabrielle Coyne has been appointed CEO of Random House Asia Pacific and will report to Hudson.
Coyne has over 20 years experience in the publishing industry and began her career at Penguin in 1990 in the marketing department and became Marketing Director in 2000. By 2003 she was appointed Managing Director of Penguin Australia and in 2009 was appointed CEO of Penguin Group Asia Pacific in October 2009 and has since overseen Penguin operations in Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.
Aside from her work with Penguin, Coyne has previously served as Vice President of the Australia Publishers’ Association (APA), as a founding member of the Wheeler Centre and a member of World Vision’s Business Advisory Council of Australia and an Advisory Councillor of the Victorian branch of the Australian Industry Group.