Spain's Prisa sells Alfaguara publisher to Penguin Random House

MADRID Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:36pm EDT

Penguin books are seen in a used bookshop in central London October 29, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Penguin books are seen in a used bookshop in central London October 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish media group Prisa (PRS.MC) said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell Alfaguara, publisher of Nobel-prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa and several other editorial brands, to Penguin Random House for 72 million euros ($100 million).

German media group Bertelsmann (BTGGg.F) and Britain's Pearson (PSON.L) last year completed the merger of their publishers Penguin and Random House.

Alfaguara - directly owned by Santillana, a publishing house controlled in turn by Prisa - is one of Spain's best-known book publishers, founded by celebrated novelist and Nobel prize-winner Camilo Jose Cela in the 1960s.

Prisa, which publishes Spain's most-read quality newspaper El Pais, has been restructuring its debt burden of over 3 billion euros and selling off assets.

It said in a statement it was selling other Spanish-language publishing brands alongside Alfaguara, excluding those operating in educational publishing, which makes up 87 percent of Santillana's income.

($1 = 0.7189 euros)

(Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by David Evans)

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