As first reported by the WSJ, Private equity firm KKR are reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Simon & Schuster, the book publisher owned by Paramount Global, for about $1.65 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The deal, which could be announced as soon as this week, would end Paramount’s yearslong effort to sell the publisher.
KKR is competing against a number of other bidders for Simon & Schuster, including News Corp-owned HarperCollins and investor Richard Hurowitz. The publisher has been a hot commodity in recent months, as private equity firms have been looking to acquire assets in the publishing industry.
Simon & Schuster is one of the largest book publishers in the world, with a portfolio that includes such authors as Stephen King, Bob Woodward, and Colleen Hoover. The company generated revenue of $1.18 billion in 2022 and operating profit of $248 million.
A sale of Simon & Schuster would be a major win for KKR. The firm has been expanding its investments in the media and entertainment industry in recent years, and Simon & Schuster would be a significant addition to its portfolio.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval, but it is expected to close later this year.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the news:
KKR is in advanced talks to acquire Simon & Schuster for about $1.65 billion.
The deal would end Paramount’s yearslong effort to sell the publisher.
Simon & Schuster is one of the largest book publishers in the world.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.
What does this mean for the publishing industry?
The sale of Simon & Schuster to KKR is a sign that private equity firms are continuing to invest in the publishing industry. This is likely due to the fact that the industry is still growing, and there are a number of attractive assets available for acquisition.
The deal could also lead to consolidation in the publishing industry. If KKR is successful in acquiring Simon & Schuster, it would become one of the largest book publishers in the world. This could put pressure on other publishers to merge or be acquired.
What does this mean for readers?
The sale of Simon & Schuster to KKR is unlikely to have a significant impact on readers. The publisher’s books will still be available, and the company’s editorial independence is expected to be maintained.
However, the deal could lead to changes in the way that Simon & Schuster operates. For example, the company may be more focused on profitability under KKR ownership. This could lead to changes in the types of books that the company publishes, or in the way that it markets its books.
Overall, the sale of Simon & Schuster to KKR is a significant development in the publishing industry. It is a sign that private equity firms are continuing to invest in the industry, and it could lead to consolidation in the industry. The deal is unlikely to have a significant impact on readers, but it could lead to changes in the way that Simon & Schuster operates.
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