Eric Carle, the author and illustrator of the classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar is to sell his company to the world’s largest book publisher, Penguin Random House.
The deal will include the global publishing rights to Carle’s more than 70 children’s books, along with the Eric Carle licensing business. The business is to be acquired by the children’s division, Penguin Young Readers.
The announcement to acquire the 90 year old author of the 145 million selling book series’ business was made yesterday [Wednesday, November 6] by Madeline McIntosh, CEO of Penguin Random House US, alongside Jen Loja, president of PRH’s Penguin Young Readers division. The deal is expected to close on January 1 2020.
For the past 25 years, the Eric Carle studio, under the leadership of CEO Jack Fortier and creative director Motoko Inoue, has managed the business assets of Carle’s work. The brand has been grown considerably to span children’s live theatre, interactive apps, food and drink licensing and more.
The World of Eric Carle is recognised as one of the biggest book-based preschool brands in the world. Beginning in January, all domestic and foreign business operations for what has previously been the Eric Carle studio will be overseen by Stephanie Sabol, VP of business development at Penguin Young Readers.
Penguin will continue to work with Joester Loria Group, the licensing agent for the Eric Carle brand since 2011.
Carle said in a statement: “My son, Rolf and I have decided to transition the management of my books to the most logical and appropriate place: Penguin Random House. I know they will continue the work of Eric Carle studio with creativity, integrity, and care.
“I feel confident that entrusting Penguin Random House with my life’s work is the right direction for me, and will benefit many future generations of readers for my books.”
Penguin Young Readers will carry on the publishing partner relationships for the Eric Carle books with sister company Penguin Random House Children’s UK, where Puffin has published Carle since 1969, as well as with Carle’s other domestic and international publishing partners.