Penguin Random House CEO to resign after blockage of merger

Penguin Random House’s head Markus Dohle is to resign at the close of the year following a blockade by a U.S. court of a $2.2 billion merger between the largest publisher in the world and its rival Simon & Schuster. The company released a statement Friday.

It added that he had decided to resign “at his request and in the best interests of both parties”.

The interim CEO will be Nihar Malaviya who is the president and chief operating Officer of Penguin Random House U.S.

Thomas Rabe was the chief executive at Penguin. He expressed his full confidence in Malaviya and said that he believed Malaviya had a good chance of becoming permanent CEO. He told Reuters that he was looking into it over the coming year.

According to him, the company will focus its efforts on acquisitions of smaller or mid-sized companies in the United States as well as other countries.

He stated that “we will invest several hundred millions euros in the acquisitions of book publishers around the world by 2025 as part our Boost strategy.”

Bertelsmann originally said that it would appeal to the U.S. judge’s ruling, but last month Bertelsmann decided to end the agreement after having discussions with Paramount Global.O (Simon & Schuster’s owners).

On Oct. 31, Judge Florence Pan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stated that the Justice Department had demonstrated the agreement could significantly lessen competition in the “market for the U.S. Publishing Rights to Anticipated Top-Seller Books”.

Paramount will be paid a termination fee of $200 million by Penguin upon the dissolution of this deal.

Rabe stated that Bertelsmann will continue to be focused on the United States, regardless of this setback.

We are the market leader. He said that every acquisition, no matter how small, has a great synergy – both on the revenue and cost side.”


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