Publishers Random House, Penguin complete merger

BERLIN (AP) — Random House Inc. and Penguin Group have completed a planned merger that creates the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.

Parent companies Bertelsmann and Pearson said they signed the final contracts on Monday to combine the global activities of the two publishers and create Penguin Random House. Random House parent Bertelsmann will hold 53 percent of the new company and Penguin owner Pearson 47 percent.

Penguin Random House will include top-selling authors such as Dan Brown and Ken Follett and a vast back catalog ranging from John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” to Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man.”

Random House chief executive Markus Dohle becomes CEO of the privately held new group, based in New York. Penguin’s CEO John Makinson will be the chairman of its board of directors.

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