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Random House, Penguin confirm merger

It’s official: Penguin House could soon become a reality.

Two of the world’s largest media companies, Bertelsmann and Pearson, confirmed early Monday their intention to combine their respective publishing divisions, Random House and Pearson. The merger would create the world’s leading publishing company with sales of about £2.5 billion.

According to reports, the newly created company “ 53 per cent of which will be owned by Bertelsmann, with the remaining 47 per cent share controlled by Pearson “ will be called Penguin Random House. Markus Dohle and John Makinson “ the top executives at Random House and Penguin, respectively “ will each have executive roles, with Dohle taking the title of CEO.

In Canada, as in the rest of the world, the deal signals further consolidation in the publishing industry. Penguin Canada is home to authors such as Joseph Boyden, Donna Morrissey, and Stuart McLean. Random House of Canada, which acquired McClelland & Stewart earlier this year, is the country’s largest trade publisher.

Though the deal is subject to regulatory approval, Bertelsmann has said it expects to close the deal in the second half of 2013.

News of the merger comes following weekend reports that Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp, owner of HarperCollins, had expressed separate interest in acquiring the publishing assets of Penguin.