Penguin Random House LLC
TypeSubsidiary of Bertelsmann
Founded1 July 2013; 9 years ago (2013-07-01)
FounderMarkus Dohle
HeadquartersRandom House Tower,
New York City, United States
Area served
Key people
Markus Dohle (CEO)
Thomas Rabe (Chairman)
Madeline McIntosh (CEO, PRH US)
Jim Johnston (CFO)
RevenueIncrease€4 billion (2021)[1]
Number of employees
10,000 (as of 1 July 2013)

Penguin Random House LLC is a multinational conglomerate publishing company formed on 1 July 2013 from the merger of Penguin Group and Random House.[2][3]

On 2 April 2020, Bertelsmann announced the completion of its purchase of Penguin Random House, which had been announced in December 2019, by buying Pearson plc's 25% ownership of the company. With that purchase, Bertelsmann became the sole owner of Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann's German-language publishing group Verlagsgruppe Random House will be completely integrated into Penguin Random House, adding 45 imprints to the company, for a total of 365 imprints.[4]

Random House Tower, New York
Random House Tower, New York

As of 2021, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints.[5] These titles include fiction and nonfiction for adults and children in both print and digital. Penguin Random House comprises Penguin and Random House in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, and India; Penguin in Brazil, Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House's companies in Spain, Hispanic America, and Germany.[6][7]

On 25 November 2020, The New York Times reported that Penguin Random House was planning to purchase Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global for $2.175 billion.[8] However, on 2 November 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice sued to stop the deal on antitrust grounds, a suit that eventually succeeded on 31 October 2022.[9][10] The deal formally collapsed on November 22, 2022.[11]


Penguin Random House was founded on 1 July 2013 by Markus Dohle upon the completion of a £2.4 billion transaction between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. Bertelsmann and Pearson, the parent companies, initially owned 53% and 47%, respectively.[12] Jane Ciabattari of Library Journal has referred to this merger as the publishing industry's response to the increasing dominance of in the book market.[13] Markus Dohle was named CEO of the new company, which had more than 10,000 employees worldwide with 250 imprints and publishing houses and a publishing list of more than 15,000 new titles a year.[7][better source needed] Penguin Random House relaunched Book Country, Penguin's online writing community, on 29 July 2013.[14] On 24 September 2014, Random House Studio signed a first-look production deal with Universal Pictures, under which Random House would be the producer of films based on Penguin Random House books. The Universal subsidiary Focus Features has frequently collaborated with Random House Films.[15] Having previously created Puffin Rock animation, Richard Haines was chosen to head Penguin Random House Children's TV development strategy with the assistance of licensing, publishing, and TV development executive Emily Campan.[16]

In November 2015, Pearson announced it would rebrand to focus on its education division.[17] On 11 July 2017, Pearson sold a 22% stake in the business to Bertelsmann, thereby retaining a 25% holding.[18][19] On 18 December 2019, Bertelsmann agreed to acquire Pearson's 25% stake in Penguin Random House,[20] making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. The sale was completed on 2 April 2020.[4] In June 2020, Penguin Random House was one of a group of publishers who sued the Internet Archive, arguing that its collection of e-books was denying authors and publishers revenue and accusing the library of "willful mass copyright infringement".[21][22]

On 25 November 2020, Penguin Random House agreed to purchase American publisher Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion. A formal regulatory approval process will follow the purchase agreement.[23] On 2 November 2021, the US Justice Department filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block Penguin Random House's proposed acquisition of Simon & Schuster. The lawsuit alleges that the acquisition would create a publisher with too much influence over books and author payments.[24] On 21 November 2022, Penguin Random House decided to scrap the whole deal. As a result, it will have to pay a $200m termination fee to Paramount, a mother company of Simon & Schuster.[25]

Divisions and imprints


See also: Dorling Kindersley

DK (Dorling Kindersley) was founded in London in 1974 and is a reference publisher focusing on non-fiction for adults and children.[citation needed]

As of 2015, DK also has official publishing relationships with Angry Birds, Lego, Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney.[26][better source needed]

Crown Publishing Group

See also: Crown Publishing Group

Crown Publishing was founded in 1933 as the Outlet Book Company, a remainder house, and is now a publisher of fiction and narrative non-fiction.[27] In 2018, Crown was combined with the main Random House Publishing Group.[28]

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Penguin Publishing Group

See also: Penguin Publishing Group

Penguin Young Readers Group

Penguin Young Readers Group is a division devoted to books for young readers and young adults.

Random House Publishing Group

Random House Children's Books

Penguin Random House Digital Publishing Group

Penguin Random House International

Penguin Random House Publisher Services

Handling distribution and marketing for Shambhala Publications, National Geographic Books, Wizards of the Coast, Kodansha USA (including Vertical Inc.), New York Review Books, Titan Books, Other Press, North Atlantic Books, Blue Star Press, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics among others.

It also handles direct market distribution for Marvel Comics starting 1 October 2021 [44] and direct market distributution for IDW Publishing starting 1 June 2022.[45]

Ebury Publishing

See also: Ebury Publishing


Book Country

Book Country was a subsidiary online writing and publishing community.[46] Book Country was launched in April 2011 with a focus on romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy. On 29 July 2013, Book Country relaunched with online writing workshops in over sixty literary categories, including literary fiction, memoir, and women's fiction.[14] As of September 2013, the site had over 10,000 members.[47] As of November 2020 the site is no longer operational.


  1. ^ "PRH Had a Record Year in 2021". Publishers Weekly. 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ Calamur, Krishnadev (29 October 2012). "Penguin, Random House Announce Merger". NPR. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Pearson, Bertelsmann Confirm Publishing Tie-Up". NPR. 29 October 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b Maher, John (2 April 2020). "Bertelsmann Now Owns 100% of Penguin Random House". Publishers Weekly.
  5. ^ Sweney, Mark (22 March 2021). "UK watchdog investigates Penguin owner's Simon & Schuster takeover". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Welcome to Penguin Random House". 1 April 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b "CEO Markus Dohle Announces Penguin Random House Global Leadership Team" (PDF). Penguin Random House. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  8. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Lee, Edmund (25 November 2020). "Penguin Random House to Buy Simon & Schuster". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  9. ^ Brian Stelter (2 November 2021). "Justice Department sues to stop Penguin Random House's purchase of Simon & Schuster". CNN. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  10. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Harris, Elizabeth A. (31 October 2022). "Judge Blocks a Merger of Big Publishers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  11. ^ Retrieved from on November 22, 2022.
  12. ^ "Penguin and Random House complete merger". The Telegraph. 9 February 2017. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  13. ^ Ciabattari, Jane (2013). "Now There Are 5". Library Journal. Media Source Inc. 138 (14): 26–29.
  14. ^ a b Charman-Anderson, Suw (29 July 2013). "Book Country: Developing Authors And Audiences". Forbes.
  15. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (24 September 2014). "Universal, Penguin Random House in 2-year First-look Pact". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  16. ^ Whittock, Jesse (30 November 2015). "Penguin Random House makes TV play". TBI Magazine. Informa Telecoms & Media. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  17. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (7 January 2016). "Pearson rebrand to reflect 100% focus on education". The Bookseller. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Pearson sells 22% stake in Penguin Random House". BBC News. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  19. ^ Sweney, Mark (11 July 2017). "Pearson sells slice of Penguin for $1bn". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  20. ^ Spahr, Wolfgang (18 December 2019). "BMG Parent Bertelsmann to Acquire Full Stake in Penguin Random House". Billboard.
  21. ^ Harris, Elizabeth A. (1 June 2020). "Publishers Sue Internet Archive Over Free E-Books". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  22. ^ Text of Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive is available from: CourtListener 
  23. ^ Whitten, Sarah (25 November 2020). "ViacomCBS Sells Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2 billion". CNBC. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  24. ^ Kendall, Brent; Trachtenburg, Jeffrey A. (2 November 2021). "Justice Department Sues to Block Penguin Random House's Acquisition of Simon & Schuster". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  25. ^ "Penguin scraps $2.2bn deal to buy rival publisher". BBC News. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  26. ^ "About DK". DK Publishing. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  27. ^ McDowell, Edwin (8 February 1990). "Nat Wartels, 88, the Chairman Of the Crown Publishing Empire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  28. ^ Milliot, Jim. "Centrello Details Crown Reorg". Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  29. ^ "The Crown Publishing Group". The Crown Publishing Group. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  30. ^ Rich, Motoko (18 April 2007). "Pulitzer Prizes – Alfred A. Knopf – Books". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  31. ^ "Imprints | Knopf Doubleday". Knopf Doubleday. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  32. ^ "Random House – Bertelsmann AG". Bertelsmann (in German). Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  33. ^ a b "Imprints | Penguin Random House". Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  34. ^ Grobar, Matt (7 April 2022). "Sugar23 & Random House Partner To Launch Co-Branded Publishing Imprint Sugar23 Books". Deadline. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  35. ^ "Our Imprints". Random House. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  36. ^ Nawotka, Ed (27 March 2019). "PRH Acquires U.K.'s Little Tiger Group". Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  37. ^ Kantor, Emma (10 October 2019). "New Venture: Random House Graphic". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  38. ^ "Random House Children's Books". Random House. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  39. ^ Guía de editores de España: 1990-1991 [Editors' guide Spain: 1990-1991] (in Spanish). Federación de Gremios de Editores de España. 1990. ISBN 978-84-86141-08-0. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  40. ^ "Santillana vende Ediciones Generales a Penguin Random House para centrarse en el área educativa". El País (in Spanish). Madrid: PRISA. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  41. ^ "Penguin Random House India acquires Duckbill Books children's publishing division". Business Insider. 29 November 2019.
  42. ^ "Penguin Random House India acquires the book publishing assets of Duckbill". 29 November 2019.
  43. ^ "Offices". Penguin Random House.
  44. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (25 March 2021). "Marvel Comics Shifts to New Distributor in Industry-Rattling Move". IGN. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  45. ^ "IDW Publishing Expands Partnership with Penguin Random House Publisher Services in an Exclusive Multi-Year Agreement to Distribute IDW Comics Worldwide". IDW Publishing. 17 September 2021. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  46. ^ "What's the Penguin About?". Archived from the original on 30 June 2013.
  47. ^ "Workshopping Community Book Country Hits Membership Milestone". 17 September 2013. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013.

Further reading