This is a joint release issued by Random House on behalf of The Random House Group and BBC Worldwide
Today John Smith, Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide Ltd, and Gail Rebuck, Chair and Chief Executive of The Random House Group, announce that The Random House Group has agreed to acquire a majority shareholding in BBC Books.
The deal brings together two renowned 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 BBC Books 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 Rick Stein's French Odyssey, David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth, Delia Smith's How to Cook series and Alan Titchmarsh's The Gardener's Year. Simon Schama's Power of Art and Alastair Fothergill's Planet Earth are amongst a number of major titles to be published this autumn.
The Ebury Publishing Division's bestsellers include The River Café Cookbooks, Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and Other Stories, The Forgotten Voices of the First World War, Piers Morgan's The Insider and Robbie Williams' Feel.
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."
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."
Fiona MacIntyre said: "BBC Books is home to a much-admired list of authors and books, and perfectly complements the range of publishing within the Ebury Division. By pooling our strengths we can become a formidable force in non fiction publishing across a range of genres."
Notes to Editors:
The Ebury Publishing Division had its best year ever in 2005. The Division is particularly strong in the areas of autobiography, sport, humour and lifestyle, cookery and popular history. They are market leaders in parenting and childcare and have one of the oldest, most respected spiritual lists in Rider. Since 2005 they have also published the Time Out City Guides.
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 Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.
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. Notable authors of non-fiction include Bill Bryson, Nigella Lawson and Jung Chang.
The Group's classic backlist of over 6000 titles includes the works of Graham Greene, Iris Murdoch and Virginia Woolf amongst others. Random House Children's Books publishes many bestselling writers including Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson, the current Children's Laureate.
The Random House Group distribution business services its own imprints as well as 50 other UK publishers.
The Random House Group is an independently managed subsidiary of Random House Inc in the US, the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's largest and most diversified integrated media companies.
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC's assets for the benefit of the licence payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights.
The company has seven core business divisions: Global Channels, Global TV Sales, Magazines, Content & Production, Home Entertainment, Children's and Digital Media. In 2004/05 BBC Worldwide achieved record profits of £55 million on sales of £706 million.
BBC Books is part of BBC Worldwide's Home Entertainment business. As well as its food and drink, humour, sci-fi and gardening titles, BBC Books' strength in history was recognized recently at the British Book Awards when Laurence Rees' Auschwitz won the award for History Book of the Year.
Previous bestsellers include Kenneth Clarke's Civilisation in 1969 and Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man in 1973. Simon Schama's Power of Art, along with books by Ainsley Harriott, Delia Smith and Alastair Fothergill's Planet Earth are amongst a number of major titles to be published this autumn.