ViacomCBS sells Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2 billion

Simon & Schuster display at the London Book Fair at Kensington Olympia on the 12th March 2019 in London.Sam Mellish | In Pictures | Getty ImagesViacomCBS announced Wednesday that it would sell publishing company Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann, in a deal worth $2.175 billion. The transaction is expected to close in 2021. The deal comes after ViacomCBS put the global publisher up for auction, a move it made to divest non-core assets from its company. Proceeds from the deal will be put toward ViacomCBS’s streaming business, fund its dividend and pay down debt.The company also recently sold CNET for $500 million as part of this strategy.With Simon & Schuster as part of the company, Bertelsmann’s publishing empire will account for about a third of all books sold in the U.S., according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The deal puts some of the world’s bestselling authors including John Grisham, Bob Woodward, Dan Brown and Stephen King under the same corporate umbrella.Simon & Schuster will continue to be managed as a separate publishing unit under Penguin Random House. Jonathan Karp, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, alongside Dennis Eulau, who acts as chief operating officer and chief financial officer for the company, will continue to helm the publishing compnay. This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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