PRH buys majority stake in Companhia das Letras

PRH buys majority stake in Companhia das Letras

Penguin Random House has acquired majority ownership of Brazilian publishing house Companhia das Letras, in which it first acquired a 45% stake in 2012.

The founders of Companhia das Letras, Luiz Schwarcz and Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, will remain as minority owners in the company. Schwarcz will continue in his capacity as c.e.o. of Companhia and chairman of the Board, and Lilia Moritz Schwarcz as c.o.o. (chief content officer) and Board member. The Moreira Salles family will exit from the partnership. 

Schwarcz said: “The day-to-day operations and publishing objectives and direction of Companhia das Letras will not change, as they have not these last six years. The principal ethics and editorial values of the two publishers are strongly aligned, with shared long-term visions for the bright future of book publishing. Now, with PRH’s majority ownership, we will gain more support for important initiatives, such as innovations in our supply chain for print and e-content distribution to our customers, and further insights into how to market our books even more effectively to the widest readership. In addition, we will benefit from the closer involvement of Markus Dohle, who has an unparalleled understanding of the global publishing industry, with a strong vision for the future of the book."

PRH c.e.o. Markus Dohle, said: “It is with genuine admiration for Companhia das Letras and what Luiz, Lilia, and their brilliant team have built that Penguin Random House announces our acquisition of the majority stake in this exceptional publishing house. I’m grateful to Luiz that he will continue to lead Companhia, and I’m confident that in the long term, the macro economic situation in Brazil will improve. Now, together, we will be able to further grow Companhia by celebrating the strength of our local teams and ensuring they manage the local market dynamics with the shared goal of connecting our authors with the widest audience of readers in Brazil and beyond.”

In a letter to staff, Dohle added: "This strategic acquisition enables us to increase our reach in South America and in the Portuguese-language market. Grupo Companhia das Letras has the largest market share among Brazilian trade publishers, with more 4,500 active titles in its impressive and growing catalogue, which includes 34 Nobel Prize winners and the finest Brazilian fiction and poetry."