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Bertelsmann and Pearson agreed that they would not sell any part of their stakes in the joint venture for three years. After five years, either partner could trigger a stock market flotation of the venture.

Pearson shares rose 0.3 percent to close at 1,225 pence in London.

In 2011, Random House reported revenues of (EURO)1.7 billion ($2.2 billion) and operating profit of (EURO)185 million. Penguin had revenues of 1 billion pounds and an operating profit of 111 million pounds.

Pearson, meanwhile, reported that its operating profit in the first nine months of the year fell 5 percent, although revenue increased by 5 percent. Revenue from Penguin was down 1 percent when stripping out the impact of fluctuating currency values.

The company attributed the profit drop to last year’s sale of its half share of FTSE International, a joint venture with the London Stock Exchange.

Penguin is one of two publishers being sued by U.S. government for alleged e-book price fixing. A trial is scheduled for next summer.

The Bertelsmann deal is part of Pearson’s strategy of focusing more on its education business. Penguin accounts for about 10 percent of the company’s book sales.


David Rising in Berlin contributed to this story.