Penguin Random House has signed agreements with Spanish-language publisher Santillana, which is currently majority-controlled by PRISA, to acquire the trade book business of Santillana Ediciones Generales. Santillana's publishers operate in Spain, Portugal, and Brazil. The move, according to PRH, will "significantly" increase its presence in Spain and Latin America. Santillana is the only Spanish-language publisher that still has offices in the U.S. and publishes U.S.-based authors.
"When we officially became Penguin Random House, I proudly announced that this new company of ours was the first truly global trade book publisher," said PRH CEO Markus Dohle. "This acquisition makes the promise of that statement even more meaningful as we further expand our international reach and deepen our relevance in several major and growing markets."
Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, the publisher’s Spanish-language company, will purchase Santillana's Spanish-language and Portuguese-language trade book businesses, which will be merged with Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Núria Cabutí, CEO of PRH Grupo Editorial, will be the CEO, post-closing, of the newly combined expanded Grupo Editorial, with Miguel Angel Cayuela, CEO of Santillana. They will both report to Dohle.
Penguin Random House Brazil, Penguin Random House’s Brazilian holding company, will acquire Santillana’s Brazilian trade publishing business, Objetiva. The acquisition of Objetiva, together with PRH Brazil's 45% stake in Companhia das Letras, gives the company a "fully-owned publishing presence in Brazil, South America's biggest market." CEO of Companhia das Letras, Luiz Schwarcz, will supervise the operations of Penguin Random House in Brazil, with the support of Roberto Feith, CEO of Objetiva.
The deal is expected to be finalized once the relevant "legal and administrative obligations are complete," and until closing, PRH and Santillana Ediciones Generales will continue to function independently. Post-closing, Santillana Ediciones Generales operations in its Spanish-language territories, and in Portugal, will become part of Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial. The newly expanded business expects to publish 1,500 titles a year. The agreement does not include the acquisition of Santillana’s children’s and young adult literature geared to schools and educational institutions.
"This was not an easy decision to make," said Cayuela. "However, these are times that require us to devote all our efforts to the very operations that defined us from the very beginning of our company, and our core business, which is education. Spurred by innovation and technology, we are experiencing a major transformation across the sector, and our hope and commitment is that Santillana will be a major player in this change."