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Penguin and Random House merger 'set to go through'

The firm seeking to merge two major publishing houses it owns expects regulators to pass the deal, once a few assets have been offloaded.

29 October 2012

The planned merger between publishing houses Penguin and Random House should clear its remaining regulatory hurdles, an official at their parent firm has said.

Pearson and Bertelsmann, which owns both firms, is seeking to push through the deal and chief financial officer Robin Freestone told BBC News he expects the situation will be resolved.

The business negotiations involved now will not be between two enterprises owned by the same company, but potential buyers of assets, as Mr Freestone said the parent will need to sell "bits and pieces" to ensure the deal can be done.

Explaining the timing of the move as current chief executive Marjorie Scardino prepares to step down at the end of the year, Mr Freestone said: "We didn't want to be hampered by the handover."

Random House has enjoyed a strong year thanks to books like the bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey.

However, the deal may face competition from News Corporation, which is widely reported to be preparing its own bid for Penguin's books business.

Source: BBC News, October 29th.

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