ViacomCBS introduced Wednesday that it might promote publishing firm Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random Home, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann, in a deal value almost $2.18 billion
The transaction is anticipated to shut in 2021.
The deal comes after ViacomCBS put the worldwide writer up for public sale, a transfer it made to divest noncore property from its firm. Proceeds from the deal shall be put towards ViacomCBS’ streaming enterprise, fund its dividend and pay down debt. The corporate additionally just lately offered CNET for $500 million as a part of this technique.
Steaming has grow to be a very necessary avenue for media corporations as coronavirus instances have risen and conventional leisure shops like film theaters and theme parks are largely closed to the general public or seen as unsafe locations.
With Simon & Schuster as a part of the corporate, Bertelsmann’s publishing empire will account for a couple of third of all books offered within the U.S. The deal would put a few of the world’s bestselling authors together with John Grisham, Bob Woodward, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen King below the identical company umbrella.
Simon & Schuster will proceed to be managed as a separate publishing unit below Penguin Random Home. Jonathan Karp, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, alongside Dennis Eulau, who acts as chief working officer and chief monetary officer for the corporate, will proceed to helm the publishing firm.
The deal may draw consideration from the U.S. Justice Division, because the mixed shares of Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random Home are massive sufficient to dredge up antitrust considerations.
Via Oct. 24, Penguin Random Home accounted for round 25% of all print books offered within the U.S. Simon & Schuster accounted for about 9.1%, based on market researcher NPD Group. With Simon & Schuster as a part of its portfolio, Bertelsmann’s U.S. market share would leap to round 34%. The second-largest writer, HarperCollins, comparatively accounts for round 11% of books offered within the U.S.
Since Simon & Schuster has a market share beneath 20%, the deal could be approvable, Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe advised reporters, based on a number of media accounts.
“There may be clearly no market logic to a bid of that measurement — solely anti-market logic,” Information Corp CEO Robert Thomson assertion on the sale. “Bertelsmann is not only shopping for a guide writer, however shopping for market dominance as a guide behemoth. Distributors, retailers, authors and readers could be paying for this proposed deal for a really very long time to return.”
Information Corp, which owns writer HarperCollins, was one of many corporations bidding on Simon & Schuster.
“This literary leviathan would have 70 p.c of the U.S. Literary and Basic Fiction market,” he stated. “There will definitely be authorized books written about this deal, although I’m wondering if Bertelsmann would publish them.”
Ebook gross sales have been notably strong this 12 months because the coronavirus pandemic has restricted different leisure choices. There may be additionally a powerful curiosity in political memoirs and books on social justice. Within the nine-month interval ended Oct. 3, print guide gross sales rose 6.4% from the prior 12 months, based on knowledge from NPD BookScan.