BERLIN (Reuters) – German media group Bertelsmann has agreed to purchase publisher Simon & Schuster for $2.175 billion in cash from ViacomCBS, strengthening its presence in the United States.
Bertelsmann outbid Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in a contest for the publisher of Dan Brown, Hillary Clinton and Stephen King which Viacom put on the block earlier this year.
The deal represents the second major move in CEO Thomas Rabe’s drive to consolidate Bertelsmann as the world’s biggest bookseller, after the 185-year-old publisher took full control of Penguin Random House less than a year ago.
“We are building our position as one of the leading creative content companies in the United States,” Rabe said on Wednesday of the move deeper into Bertelsmann’s second-largest market.
“I’m convinced that this a good day both for book publishing and for authors.”
The acquisition of Simon & Schuster, which reported revenue of $814 million in 2019, is profitable and employs 1,500 staff, is expected to close in 2021 subject to U.S. antitrust approval.