News Corp to offer £1bn for Penguin Group

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News Corp is preparing to make a cash offer worth £1bn for Pearson's Penguin Group, throwing plans to merge the book publisher with its rival, Random House, into disarray. Penguin and Random House were weighing up a deal in an attempt to capitalise on the rise of the e-book and wrestle back industry leadership from technology interlopers Apple and Amazon. But Rupert Murdoch, the chef executive of News Corp, is said to have approached Pearson about an all-cash offer to buy Penguin, the publisher of a party-planning guide by Pippa Middleton. A deal would see Penguin combined with News Corp's existing stable of books under its ownership of publisher HarperCollins.