Random House Group acquires majority stake in BBC Books

MUMBAI: The Random House Group in the UK has agreed to acquire a majority shareholding in BBC Books. The deal brings together two publishers of non-fiction as BBC Books will become part of the Ebury Publishing Division of The Random House Group under Fiona MacIntyre, publisher of the Ebury Publishing Division.

BBC Worldwide will maintain a shareholding in BBC Books and the latter will continue to license relevant book publishing rights in BBC programmes. BBC Books will, as before, work within BBC editorial and commercial policy guidelines ensuring that appropriate controls are maintained over the BBC brand.

BBC Books' recent bestsellers include David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth and Alastair Fothergill's Planet Earth.

Random House Group CEO Gail Rebuck said, "It is exciting to announce this new relationship, which complements and enhances our own non-fiction publishing, just as BBC Books celebrates an excellent year and looks forward to a very strong autumn. We have brought together two talented creative and successful publishing teams within one division, which will continue to publish the broad and distinguished range of adult non-fiction for which both companies are widely admired.

"This combination of the best creative talent backed by Random House's international sales and distribution capacity ensures that we can expand on existing opportunities and create new projects for the global market."

BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith said, "We have for some time stated our intention of seeking a partner for our books business and are delighted to have reached this agreement with a publisher of the calibre of Random House. The union will bring additional scope and scale to BBC Books and enable the imprint to build further on this year's financial success and continue to grow its enviable list. We look forward to working with our new colleagues."

The Random House Group is one of the largest general book publishing companies in the UK. The Group is based in London with subsidiary companies in India, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Group comprises four publishing divisions with 33 diverse and highly individual imprints including Jonathan Cape, William Heinemann, Chatto & Windus, Vintage, Corgi, Doubleday and Bantam Press. Novelists published by the Group include Dan Brown, Jilly Cooper, J M Coetzee, Sebastian Faulks, John Grisham, Robert Harris, Mark Haddon, Ian McEwan and Terry Pratchett.

The group's non-fiction publishing consists of broad general non-fiction and specialist categories such as cookery, gardening, travel and business books.

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