Pan Books was founded by Alan Bott, owner of The Book Society, in September 1944. Over the course of the next eight years a minority share of 48 per cent was picked up by a consortium of four leading publishers: William Collins, Macmillan, William Heinemann and - for a short while - Hodder and Stoughton. A publisher of paperback originals and reprints of distinguished fiction and non-fiction, Pan gained prominance in the 1960's as the paperback publisher of Ian Fleming's James Bond books.
A consortium consisting of Collins, Macmillan, Hodder & Stoughton and Heinemann purchased a share in PAN and in 1962, when New American Library attempted to take over, Collins and Macmillan bought PAN outright. In 1969 Heinemann rejoined by buying a third share.
In 1987, Collins and Heinemann sold their interests in Pan, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Pan/Macmillan.