Paramount Global is once again working with financial advisors to successfully sell Simon & Schuster, the third largest book publisher. President and CEO Bob Bakish revealed this news during this morning’s quarterly earnings call.
He says, “Simon & Schuster’s operating performance is substantially superior to what it was when we brought it to the market before.” This last quarter, it reported $353 million in revenue, up 10% from the previous quarter. While still very much in the early stages of any potential dealings, the publishing company could sell for $2 billion or possibly even $2.5 billion.
In 2020 an attempt to sell Simon & Schuster in a $2.2 billion deal to Penguin Random House was blocked by United States regulators over competition concerns. Antitrust enforcement has become a major concern and this specific merger case went on to set a precedent in the publishing industry with several authors in agreement of blocking the deal.
According to Reuters, “The U.S. Justice Department sued to stop the tie-up of Penguin and Simon & Schuster, which led to a collapse of the deal. A combined group would have accounted for nearly half of the market for publishing rights to blockbuster books.”
Combining the leading publishing company with the third largest was not well received by regulators, citing issues would arise that effectually could drastically reduce competition amongst publishers.
Selling Simon & Schusters to private equity firms could be a solution to get around competition concerns that complicated and eventually killed the Penguin Random House deal.
There are apparently several other bidders who are interested in purchasing Simon & Schuster, such as HarperCollins or even European publisher Hachette Publishing. However, sifting through the strict United States regulations may prove challenging to any major publisher.
Sources claim a deal could be announced, if not fully finalized, by the end of this year. Check back with Cord Cutters News for more information as Paramounts attempts to sell continue.