A Private Equity Firm Is Buying Simon and Schuster for $1.6 Billion In Cash
After three years, KKR is buying the 99-year-old publishing company!
Paramount posted Simon & Schuster for sale in 2020. After the court blocked the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster in 2022, the fate of the Simon & Schuster was up in the air. According to Book Riot, the original sale to PRH was for $2.2 billion but Paramount Global, Simon and Schuster's parent company, claimed PRH "does not fit strategically within Paramount’s broader portfolio” and that they are not interested in keeping it. According to CNN, the lawsuit said the deal would have given the combined company too much control over how much authors are paid. It also argued there would be fewer bidders for highly anticipated books, which would have been another potential blow to writers.
Paramount has now agreed to sell the publishing company to private equity firm KKR for $1.6 billion, who will be buying it in cash. Jon Karp, chief executive of Simon & Schuster, told the New York Times, “I think I speak on behalf of the entire management team when I say we are thrilled with the result. They plan to invest in us and make us even greater than we already are. What more could a publishing company want?”
Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Paramount Global, said Simon & Schuster is a “fantastic asset” but that it didn’t fit with its core mission of video entertainment. “Importantly, this transaction checks all the boxes from a financial perspective,” Bakish said, adding the proceeds will go toward paying down Paramount’s debt.
Once the deal closes, the book publisher will go private and be led by Jonathan Karp, its current CEO and president, and Dennis Eulau, COO and CFO.