Pearson, which owns Clancy publisher Penguin Group, issued a statement Thursday saying that it is discussing “a possible combination” with Bertelsmann, the parent company of Grisham publisher Random House.
Bertelsmann, based in Germany, also runs a radio and television empire in Europe and controls the continent’s top magazine publisher. Other authors published by Random House include Paulo Coelho and Dan Brown.
“The two companies have not reached agreement and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction,” according to the statement. “A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”
These are interesting times for publishers. The arrival and spread of e-books propelled by online giants such as Apple and Amazon have created a difficult situation for dead-tree tomes.
“Curious George” producer Houghton Mifflin Harcourt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, saying it was seeking “greater financial flexibility to pursue growth opportunities.”