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Random House of Canada acquires sole ownership of M&S

One of Canada’s most beloved and respected publishing houses, McClelland & Stewart, has been acquired by its part-owner, Random House of Canada.

M&S had been a wholly Canadian-owned company from its inception in 1906 until 2000, when chairman and owner Avie Bennett donated 75 per cent of the company to the University of Toronto and sold the remaining 25 per cent to Random House of Canada. Until today, M&S had technically operated as a separate and independent entity.

A press release from Random House of Canada notes the sale has cleared regulatory hurdles, which are meant to ensure that transactions involving cultural businesses are of net benefit to Canadians. “We are pleased to note that the needed regulatory approval has been obtained from the responsible authority,” the release states.

The press release also notes that Doug Pepper, who joined M&S in 2004, will continue in his role as president and publisher, and join the executive committee of Random House of Canada Ltd. Ellen Seligman, M&S’s executive vice-president and publisher of fiction, will also continue in her role.

Tundra Books, M&S’s children’s imprint, will become the Canadian children’s publishing program within Random House of Canada, headed by managing director Alison Morgan and editorial director Tara Walker. Doubleday Canada will continue its YA publishing program, the press release notes.

Random House of Canada president and CEO Brad Martin is quoted as saying: Avie Bennett’s devotion to McClelland & Stewart has been a gift to Canadian authors and readers. His contributions to Canadian publishing and to our literary heritage are unparalleled. I thank Avie and also the University of Toronto for their stewardship and commitment to M&S. McClelland & Stewart is one of the world’s great publishers, and we are committed to making it even greater.

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