PRH buys 45% stake in Sourcebooks

PRH buys 45% stake in Sourcebooks

Sourcebooks has sold a 45% ownership stake to Penguin Random House to enable the American independent publisher to take a “broader and deeper approach to domestic and global markets”.

The deal was announced on Thursday (22nd May) in the US by Dominique Raccah, Sourcebooks’ c.e.o. and founder, and Madeline McIntosh, PRH US c.e.o. and “will create a performance- and growth-oriented partnership between the two companies,” said PRH.

“Sourcebooks retains its majority ownership of 55%, with no changes in its leadership, management, publishing autonomy, or entrepreneurial culture,” the statement reads. “Penguin Random House now owns 45%, as a collaborative investor in the Illinois-based company.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Established in 1987 by Raccah from a spare bedroom in her home, with $17,000 and a Mac computer, Sourcebooks is the largest woman-owned trade book publisher in North America, said PRH. It is based near Chicago and publishes more than 400 titles each year, more than half of them children’s books, in multiple formats across 12 imprints.

“Drawing on her strong background in brand marketing and research, Raccah has developed a team known for its innovation, agility, and ability to quickly capitalize on opportunities to bring retailers the books and programs their readers will want,” PRH said. “Now through its shareholding with Penguin Random House, Sourcebooks will be able to tap into resources and capabilities that will allow an even broader and deeper approach to domestic and global markets. And the companies expect to work together on any number of new, shared programs aimed at reaching readers and supporting authors.”

Raccah said: “Penguin Random House has a long history of fostering publishing entrepreneurs, and we’re excited to be joining that tradition. Our new colleagues are brilliant publishers, doing extraordinary work. We are very excited to be working with them. Sourcebooks has developed a new model in the book space that is agile, data-centric, and customer-centric, and we do it all from America’s heartland. This partnership is a continuation of our new model and another example of PRH’s remarkable, diversified approach to the market. We’re very excited to develop this new approach to creating the future together!”

McIntosh added: “Sourcebooks is an amazing success story with an extraordinarily strong track record of building sustainable growth and Dominique is a great publisher and entrepreneur whom I have long admired.  We now have a singular opportunity to forge a partnership of shared vision and values, and together grow our businesses, as we shape readers’ lives through the books we publish.”

Raccah delivered a keynote speech at The Bookseller’s Futurebook conference last November about "How Innovation and Culture are Driving the Book Business in a Time of Change", which explored the rapid changes taking place in the US and the UK, and what publishing strategies and developments work best for Sourcebooks in tackling this kind of marketplace.