Wednesday, January 20

ViacomCBS sells Simon & Schuster publishing house

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It is Penguin Random House, a subsidiary of the German company Bertelsmann, which grabs the publishing house. (Photo: 123RF)

US media group ViacomCBS (VIAC) on Wednesday announced plans to sell publishing house Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House, a subsidiary of German company Bertelsmann (BTG4), for $ 2.18 billion, thus creating a new giant in bookstores.

Both groups have many successful authors: Stephen King and Doris Kearns Goodwin at Simon & Schuster, who also in the past counted Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald among their talents; Barack and Michelle Obama, or John Grisham at Penguin Random House.

Their merger “is the result of a highly competitive auction that has attracted the interest of buyers around the world, reflecting Simon & Schuster’s position as one of the world’s best-known publishing brands,” ViacomCBS pointed out in a statement.

The American company, owner of CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Showtime television channels, as well as Paramount and Miramax studios, no longer considered its publishing house a priority and had been looking to sell it for several months.

It intends to use the money from the operation to invest in its strategic priorities, including streaming, pay dividends to its shareholders and reduce its debt.

The transaction is expected to close in 2021 but still has to get the green light from the competition authorities

If confirmed, Simon & Schuster will continue to operate as a separate entity within Penguin Random House and be managed by its current Managing Director, Jonathan Karp.

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