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Bertelsmann open to raising stake in PRH; releases half-year results for 2015

Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe has said the German media company could consider raising its stake in Penguin Random House (PRH), reports Reuters. Speaking to reporters after the release of Bertelsmann’s half-year results, Rabe said, ‘we could imagine raising our stake in Penguin Random House in steps’, but added ‘it is up to Pearson whether they want to sell or not’. Under the conditions of the PRH merger in 2012, Bertelsmann and Pearson are committed to their respective stakes of 53 percent and 47 percent in the company for three years, after which each partner has first right of refusal. As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Pearson recently sold the FT group, which includes the Financial Times, and its stake in the Economist Group to focus on the global education market. Rabe’s comments were made after Bertelsmann’s half-year results revealed revenue at PRH for the first half of 2015 reached €1.7bn (A$2.7bn), an increase of 16.2 percent over the same period in the previous year. Operating EBITDA totaled €207m ($A327m), a rise of 30.2% over the previous year. The publisher’s strong performance was boosted by positive currency rates and a line-up of bestselling titles that includes The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins, Doubleday), PRH’s top-selling title over the first half of 2015, and Grey (E L James, Arrow), the fastest-debuting trade paperback in the US and UK.


Category: International news