RPT-Pearson confirms Random Penguin merger
LONDON, 29. Okt (Reuters) - Britain's Pearson has agreed to merge its Penguin book division with Bertelsmann's Random House to create the world's leading consumer publisher, in a snub to a mooted bid from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp .
The education and media publisher Pearson said the newly-created joint venture would be named Penguin Random House, with Bertelsmann owning 53 percent and Pearson the rest. Bertelsmann will nominate five directors to the Board of Penguin Random House and Pearson will nominate four.
The news could be a blow to the media mogul Murdoch, as Pearson confirmed the joint venture one day after reports suggested his News Corp could also made a direct bid for Penguin Books.
Pearson also took the opportunity to publish a trading update, showing the challenges facing the wider group. While sales were up by 5 percent in the first nine months, operating profit was down by 5 percent, reflecting the sale of assets, acquisition costs and weakness in the British professional training market.
It reiterated its outlook.
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