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 Images

ViacomCBS 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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