The Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is a literary prize for the best English language novel of the year written by a British or Commonwealth author. The original sponsor of the prize was the food wholesaler Booker plc., whose Authors' Division owned the copyright of a number of well-known authors. In 2001, Booker plc. merged with the Big Food Group plc. In response to this change, the Booker Prize Foundation was formed to take responsibility for the prize. A new sponsor was also sought, and the role was won by The Man Group plc., a global investment management business, and since 2003 the award has been known as the Man Booker Prize. For further details on the history of the prize, see 'The Man Booker Prize: 35 years of the best in contemporary fiction 1969-2003', published by the Booker Prize Foundation, 2003.
The Booker Russian Novel Prize, awarded for the best work of fiction written in the Russian language, was launched in 1992. The prize was initially sponsored by Booker plc and administered locally by the British Council. Sponsorship of the prize was transferred in 1997 to United Distillers & Vintners (UDV), the spirits and wine arm of Diageo plc and owner of Smirnoff vodka, and the prize renamed the Smirnoff Booker Prize in 1999. In 2002 the Open Russia Foundation, founded by the YUKOS Oil Company, became the sponsor and the prize was renamed the Booker-Open Russia Prize. In 2006, sponsorship of the prize was transferred to the oil company BP.
The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years in recognition of the work of an author of any nationality whose work is available in English. The first prize was awarded in 2005. There is also a separate prize for translation into English, the winner of which is chosen by the winning author.