Spanish book hookup

Deal is expected to close in late spring

HOLLYWOOD — Bertelsmann’s Random House and Italian publisher Mondadori Thursday unveiled plans to pool their respective Spanish-language book publishing operations in a new 50-50 joint venture with about $100 million in revenue.

The new Grupo Editorial Random House Mondadori will become the world’s second-largest publisher of Spanish-lingo books; Spain and Latin America, execs said, are among the fastest-growing and most lucrative markets around. Mondadori, owned by Italian media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi through his Fininvest holding company, is the largest publisher of books and magazines in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe.

Germany’s Bertelsmann is the world’s biggest book publisher.

Accord will join Random House’s affiliate Plaza & Janes in Spain and Mexico and its Sudamericana subsid in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay with Grijalbo Mondadori, which publishes in Spain and five Latin American countries.

Deal is expected to close in late spring pending approval by the European Union.

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