The international media, services, and education company Bertelsmann is to become the sole owner of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade publishing group. Bertelsmann will acquire the remaining 25-percent stake now held by its British co-shareholder Pearson, increasing its own stake to 100 percent. The purchase price for the share package is $675 million. The acquisition of shares is subject to the necessary official approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the 2nd quarter of 2020. Germany’s Verlagsgruppe Random House, which is wholly owned by Bertelsmann will become part of Penguin Random House. Once regulatory approvals have been obtained, the New York-based book publishing group will be comprised of more than 300 individual publishing imprints on six continents. Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Penguin Random House, said: “The increase to 100 percent is a milestone for Bertelsmann. We will become the sole owner of the world’s biggest trade publishing group, which sets standards with its creative diversity, global marketing power, and commercial strength. We will continue to expand Penguin Random House in the coming years, through organic growth and acquisitions. The book business is part of Bertelsmann's identity. For us and our shareholders, the transaction is commercially attractive, as the share of Bertelsmann’s shareholders in group profit will increase by more than €70 million per year.”
With a little help from Domtar and our PaperPal™ program, elementary school students and law enforcement officers in Rock Hill, South Carolina, learned about each other through handwritten letters about sports, pets and more.
Recently, Olde Pointe Elementary School hosted a breakfast so the PaperPals could meet in person. The event was a hit with students and officers alike, and it highlighted the many benefits of handwriting and relationship-building.
The PaperPal program brings generations together through handwritten letters. It began in 2015 with a school and retirement community in Van Nuys, California. The idea, chronicled in a short video, was so successful that the PaperPals wanted to continue sending handwritten letters to each other even after the initial two-month program officially ended. Students in Montreal and Kamloops, British Columbia, also have enjoyed the program by pairing with local senior citizen homes.
In Rock Hill, officers from the York County Sheriff’s Office and Rock Hill Police Department exchanged letters with the fifth-grade students for six months before meeting at the breakfast.
“Authentic handwriting is not just practice for our students; it’s how we can relate to and connect with the real world,” says Bill Cook, superintendent of Rock Hill Schools. “Our partnership with Domtar has been a great way to connect our students to the larger community. We are grateful for partners like Domtar who demonstrate through action that we are on one team with one mission for one Rock Hill.”
Research shows that handwriting has neurological benefits for the developing minds of young children, and it is an effective way to communicate on a more emotional level.
“The PaperPal program was a great way for our officers to meet students on a personal level and let them know that we care and we’re here to protect them,” says Sheriff Kevin R. Tolson of the York County Sheriff’s Office. Tolson exchanged handwritten letters with a student named Rebecca and met her for the first time at the event. The moment was captured on video and featured on the local news station.
Our Rock Hill converting plant, which employs about 50 people locally, sponsored the program.
“Besides the educational and cognitive benefits of PaperPal, we are excited to see how this program sparks smiles and hugs for both children and adults,” says Michelle Osborne, administrative coordinator at our Rock Hill facility. Osborne led the effort to connect students and law enforcement officers through handwritten letters.