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ViacomCBS to Sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House

posted on by Alex Mateo

ViacomCBS announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to sell the publishing business Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, for US$2.175 billion.

The cash transaction is expected to close in 2021. Simon & Schuster will continue as a separate publishing unit under the Penguin Random House umbrella. Simon & Schuster's President and CEO Jonathan Karp and COO and CFO Dennis Eulau will continue to head the company.

Earlier this year, ViacomCBS undertook a review of its non-core assets, which led to a competitive auction for Simon & Schuster. ViacomCBS will invest proceeds from the transaction into its strategic growth properties such as streaming, and to fund dividend and pay debt.

Simon & Schuster distributes Viz Media manga and novel publications in North America.

Manga and light novel publisher Seven Seas Entertainment announced on November 20 that it has reached a multi-year sales and distribution agreement with Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS). PRHPS will "distribute the entire frontlist and backlist across all sales channels worldwide" for Seven Seas Entertainment beginning on July 1, 2021.

PRHPS' other clients include Kodansha USA Publishing, which handles the Kodansha Comics and Vertical imprints; Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. for its Square Enix Manga & Books publishing label; and Dark Horse Comics.

Update: Title updated to accurately reflect status of sale.

Sources: ViacomCBS, New York Times (Alexandra Alter and Edmund Lee) via Caleb Cook

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