ViacomCBS to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House owner for $2.2bn
ViacomCBS confirmed on Wednesday that it has agreed to sell publishing business Simon & Schuster to Bertelsmann, the owner of Penguin Random House, for $2.18bn in cash.
The company said the sale follows a strategic review of non-core assets undertaken early in the year.
Proceeds from the transaction will be used to invest in ViacomCBS’s strategic growth priorities, including in streaming, as well as to fund the dividend and pay down debt.
"This transaction is the outcome of a highly competitive auction that attracted interest from buyers around the world, reflecting Simon & Schuster’s position as one of the world’s best known publishing brand," it said.
Simon & Schuster has more than 30 publishing units across adult, children, audio and international. Its portfolio of authors includes Stephen King, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jason Reynolds, and it owns a backlist of perennial favourite titles such as Catch-22 and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The deal is expected to close next year and once it does, Simon & Schuster will continue to be managed as a separate publishing unit under the Penguin Random House umbrella.