NEW YORK — Random House Inc. said Monday that it has signed a contract to acquire Crown Publishing Group, a book marketer and publisher whose best-selling authors include Judith Krantz, Jean Auel and Dominick Dunne. The price was not disclosed.
Crown's biggest business is Publishers Central Bureau, a major mail-order distributor of books and audio and visual materials; its second biggest is Outlet Book Co., a leading marketer of promotional, remaindered and bargain books.
Random House, which is owned by the Newhouse family's Advance Publications, said the acquisition would open "new opportunities in the mail-order and promotional book fields."
Nat Wartels, who co-founded Crown with Bob Simon in 1933, will remain chairman of Crown. Simon died in 1966. Alan Mirken will remain president, while becoming vice chairman of Random House.