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Penguin Random House considering sale of Dorling Kindersley

The publishing firm Penguin Random House is considering a sale of its illustrated books division Dorling Kindersley, Sky News has reported.

Dorling Kindersley was founded in London in 1974, and works with brands Star Wars, Disney, Lego and Marvel producing branded books, as well as producing various cook books, including those by Mary Berry, and educational books by Carol Vorderman.

It has been reported the publishing company has been in talks with investment banks about advising on an auction of Dorling Kindersley.

Sources told Sky News that Penguin Random House was "exploring" a sale and that it could decide not to pursue a formal auction.

Pearson acquired Dorling Kindersley in 2000 for £311m when the company ran into financial difficulties, over-estimating the demand for its Star Wars-branded books, leading to a huge amount of unsold books and loss in revenue.

Pearson owns a 47 per cent stake in Penguin Random House, while Bertelsmann, the German media group, takes a majority share following a merger of their book publishing divisions in 2013.

An agreement between the two media groups permits Pearson to sell its stake to its fellow shareholder at any point.

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