Pearson and Bertelsmann agree joint publishing venture

Education group Pearson and Bertelsmann said this morning they had agreed to combine their respective publishing businesses Penguin and Random House.

Under the terms of agreement, Penguin and Random House will be known as Penguin Random House. German Bertelsmann will own 53 per cent of the joint venture, and Penguin will own 47 per cent.

The joint venture will create the world’s largest consumer publishing group.

It will exclude Bertelsmann’s trade publishing business in Germany, while Pearson can still use the Penguin brand in education markets worldwide, the companies said today.

Chief executive of Pearson Marjorie Scardino said: “Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers.”