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PRH acquires majority stake in Brazilian publisher Companhia das Letras

Penguin Random House (PRH) has acquired a majority stake of 70% in Brazilian publisher Companhia das Letras.

PRH previously acquired a 45% stake in the Brazilian publishing house in 2012, with a plan to eventually assume majority control. Companhia das Letras founders Luiz Schwarcz and Lilia Moritz Schwarcz will remain minority owners in the company, with a 30% stake. Luiz Schwarcz will continue as CEO and chairman of the board, while Lilia Moritz Schwarcz will continue as chief content officer and board member. The Moreira Salles family, one of  Brazil’s oldest banking families, will exit from the partnership.

Grupo Companhia das Letras has the largest market share among Brazilian trade publishers, with more than 4500 active titles in its catalogue. Companhia das Letras has 16 imprints, and among its authors are 34 Nobel Prize winners. In 2015 Companhia das Letras acquired Rio de Janeiro-based publisher Objetiva.

The acquisition comes as Brazil’s publishing market is experiencing a crisis, with Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S Paulo reporting that the country’s two largest book retailers have been delaying payments to publishers.

Luiz Schwarcz said that ‘the day-to-day operations and publishing objectives and direction of Companhia das Letras will not change’.

‘With PRH’s majority ownership, we will gain more support for important initiatives, such as innovations in our supply chain for print and e-content distribution to our customers, and further insights into how to market our books even more effectively to the widest readership,’ said Schwarcz.

PRH CEO Markus Dohle said: ‘This strategic acquisition enables us to increase our reach in South America and in the Portuguese-language market.’ He added: ‘I’m grateful to Luiz that he will continue to lead Companhia, and I’m confident that in the long term, the macro-economic situation in Brazil will improve.’



Category: International news