Paramount’s publishing arm Simon & Shuster has been on sale for the past few years. According to a Thursday report by a popular outlet, the publisher is in advanced talks with private equity firm KKR & Co, Inc. Last year the U.S. Justice Department sued in order to stop a partnership between Simon & Shuster and Penguin Random House, as reported by us earlier. The deal fell through as the new company would have been a mega publisher that could dominate the market. Paramount got a breakup fee of $200 million.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that private equity firm KKR was in advanced talks with Paramount to acquire Simon & Shuster, according to people familiar with the matter. The sources said that the firm would buy the publication for about $1.65 billion. The earlier deal between Paramount’s Simon & Schuster was valued at about $2.2 billion.
The sources who asked the outlet to maintain anonymity as the deal is still pending said that others including Harper Collins Publishers owned by News Corp and Richard Hurowitz, a well-known investor were also interested in striking a deal with Paramount. He is reportedly backed by the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dabi.
KKR is reportedly in advanced talks and if they fructify, an announcement could be made in the next few days, according to the sources.
If the deal goes through, problems are not expected with U.S. regulators as KKR is a private equity firm that doesn’t have a strong publishing background like Penguin Random House.
Some of the celebrity authors with Simon and Schuster include the following:
F Scott Fitzgerald and many more.
Simon & Schuster had a good year in 2022 and CEO Jonathan Carp noted that the year was “extraordinary.” The publisher’s operating income rose by 16 percent and was $248 million. Revenues increased by 10 percent and stood at over $1.1 billion.
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