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updated: 10/29/2012 7:28 AM

Pearson, Bertelsmann confirm publishing tie-up

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BERLIN -- Pearson PLC has confirmed that it will merge its Penguin Books division with Random House, which is owned by German media company Bertelsmann, in a deal that will create the world's largest trade publisher.

Pearson says Monday that Bertelsmann would own a controlling 53 percent share of the joint venture, which will be known as Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann would keep full control of its trade publishing business in Germany and Pearson would retain rights to use the Penguin brand in education.

Random House worldwide CEO Markus Dohle will be CEO of the new group while Penguin's CEO John Makinson will be the chairman of its new board of directors.

The closing of the deal is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2013 following regulatory approval.

Reports have also suggested that News Corp. was interesting in making a 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) cash bid for Penguin. Pearson meanwhile reported that operating profit in the first nine months of the year fell 5 percent although revenue increased by 5 percent.

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