Thursday, February 14, 2013

Random House NZ Penguin Books NZ takeover/merger approval?

The result of the Commerce Commission deliberations on this issue will be announced tomorrow (Friday) and The Bookman expects approval will be given.

I base this on two issues - first it has been a very brief consultation/deliberation period. Had it been at all contentious the process would have taken a lot longer. Second it is comparatively rare for the Commission to block takeovers and there have been many where the competition in the market was more reduced than it will be between these two publishing companies even though they are the two largest players in the field. My guess is the merged company will have about 40% of the NZ trade retail book market.

I see the main losers in the merger being authors, booksellers and the staff of the merged companies as there will no doubt be redundancies. Speaking generally the only winners I can see will be the shareholders of the two companies and they are mainly based in the US, UK and Germany. 

So by and large it will be a sad day all round but life will go on.

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