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Publishers Random House, Penguin complete merger

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.
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Obama adviser David Axelrod plans memoir for 2014

One of President Barack Obama’s top advisers and strategists during his first term has a book deal.

David Axelrod is working on a memoir scheduled for fall 2014. At least two other former Obama administration officials, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Timothy Geithner, also have books planned next year.

Penguin Press announced Axelrod’s book on Tuesday. According to Penguin, Axelrod will write about his long friendship with Obama and offer his views on elections and government.

Axelrod helped run Obama’s successful campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and worked as an adviser to the president during his first term. The 58-year-old former political writer and ex-columnist for the Chicago Tribune recently joined NBC News as a senior political analyst.

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Pearson, Bertelsmann confirm Penguin-Random House merger

Pearson PLC will merge its Penguin Books division with Random House, which is owned by German media company Bertelsmann, in an all-share deal that will create the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.

The planned joint venture brings together classic and best-selling names. As well as publishing books from authors such as John Grisham, Random House scored a major hit this year with Fifty Shades of Grey. Penguin has a strong backlist, including George Orwell, Jack Kerouac and John Le Carre.

The two companies said Monday that Bertelsmann would own a controlling 53 percent share of the joint venture, which will be known as Penguin Random House. READ FULL STORY

Penguin-Random House merger in discussions

British publishing and education company Pearson PLC says it is in talks with German media group Bertelsmann SE over merging the firms’ Penguin and Random House publishing operations.

Pearson said Thursday it “is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House” but added that there is no certainty the talks will lead to a transaction.

Pearson is publisher of the Financial Times and Penguin Group books. Bertelsmann’s assets include the RTL Group television division and magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr.

The talks come at a time when the publishing industry is being buffeted by the growing e-book market.

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