Two of the biggest publishing houses in the US will soon be under one roof.
ViacomCBS announced Wednesday it will sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House, which is a subsidiary of German media giant Bertelsmann, for $2.175 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close next year and subject to regulatory approval.
ViacomCBS, which owns CBS network, CBS All Access, Paramount Pictures, Showtime and MTV, among others, said the sale is part of the company’s efforts to unload non-core assets following the reunion of Viacom and CBS last year. The company sold CNET Media Group earlier this year.
Simon & Schuster is the third biggest publishing house in the US. This year, it published several Trump tell-all books including Bob Woodward’s “Rage” and Mary Trump’s “Too Much and Never Enough.” It also publishes bestselling authors such as Stephen King and Doris Kearns Goodwin. Penguin Random House, the largest publishing house, just released President Barack Obama’s new memoir, “A Promised Land.”
When the deal closes, Simon & Schuster will continue to run as a separate publishing unit. Jonathan Karp will remain as president and CEO and Dennis Eulau as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
In a memo to staff Wednesday, Karp wrote that Simon & Schuster has had seven owners through its 96-year history.
“From these transformations we have adjusted to new management, welcomed other companies into our fold, and always emerged stronger, with an enduring commitment to excellence in book publishing. When we join Penguin Random House after closing, we can look forward to benefitting from exciting new relationships and opportunities that will enhance our ability to provide authors with the best possible publication they can receive,” Karp wrote.