The publishing arm of the German group Bertelsmann has acquired Santillana’s trade book business, including Aguilar, Alfaguara, Fontanar, Punto de Lectura, Suma de letras, Taurus and Objetiva.

The Iberian law firm has led this complex transaction affecting 21 jurisdictions in Europe and Latin America.

Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira has advised Penguin Random House on acquiring the trade book business of Santillana, a subsidiary of PRISA. The literary package includes the imprints Aguilar, Alfaguara, Punto de Lectura, Suma de letras, Taurus and Objetiva. Penguin Random House will integrate the new imprints, enabling the group to strengthen its presence in Central and Latin America, including Brazil.

Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira’s Corporate and Commercial Practice in Barcelona handled the transaction, which was led by partners Kai Christian Fischer and Ramón Gil (both from M&A/German Desk). Partners Cani Fernández (Competition), Mª Luisa Osuna (Intellectual Property) and Juan Bonilla (Labor and Employment) have also played a prominent role, together with associates Mercedes Miragall (M&A/German Desk) and Javier Arana (Competition/German Desk).

According to Mr. Fischer, “this transaction was highly complex given its specific technicalities and geographical scope, requiring close collaboration with some twenty law firms in Latin America.”

Impact in Latin America

The Iberian law firm has led this transaction affecting 21 jurisdictions, particularly in Latin America. It is another example of the firm’s capability in Latin America to manage complex transactions by working in teams with leading law firms in each jurisdiction.

Jaime Llopis, coordinator of the firm’s Latin American practice, said “the transaction’s evident complexity lies in coordinating the more than 20 countries—each with its particularities and requirements—involved in the acquisition; but it is just as important to have one voice at the negotiation table. Knowing each of the firms involved well, including personally knowing the lawyers, is a great help; this is a key factor along with our partners’ ability to connect with the different legal cultures, starting with that of the client and ending with the small details of each jurisdiction involved.”

Past work with Bertelsmann

Last year, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira advised German group Bertelsmann on acquiring all of Random House Mondadori’s shares. The Iberian law firm has worked on several transactions for Bertelsmann in recent years.

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