Simon & Schuster again up for sale, executives confirm

May 4, 2023, 12:13 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Simon & Schuster is again up for sale. Months after a federal judge halted Penguin Random House’s plan to purchase its longtime rival, Simon & Schuster’s CEO and parent company, Paramount Global, have confirmed that the publisher is back on the market, with a sale possible by the end of the year.

“I can now report that, as expected, Paramount has resumed the process of selling Simon & Schuster,” Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp wrote in a staff memo shared Thursday with The Associated Press. Karp noted in the letter that Simon & Schuster is enjoying a strong 2023 so far, with double-digit domestic revenue growth over the first three months compared with the same time period last year.

“It should come as no surprise that there are many interested parties, a reflection of the fact that we are an even more successful and more profitable company than when the sale process first began,” Karp wrote.

Paramount has said that Simon & Schuster does not fit “strategically” because it’s not video-based. During an earnings report call Thursday morning, Paramount CFO Naveen Chopra noted that the company was committed to “divesting non-core assets.”

“We have restarted the sale process for Simon & Schuster and we see a path to potentially closing a transaction this year,” she said. “The combination of initial interest and strong operating performance of the business over the last several years, gives us confidence in our ability to maximize the value of this asset for our shareholders.”

Simon & Schuster, founded nearly a century ago, publishes such best-selling authors as Colleen Hoover, Stephen King and Bob Woodward. It has a long history of releasing political books, from Hillary Clinton’s memoir “Living History” to Woodward’s Donald Trump book “Fear,” and also works with such acclaimed fiction writers as King, Jennifer Egan and Don DeLillo.

Penguin Random House, already the country’s largest trade publisher, had offered $2.2 billion in 2020 for Simon & Schuster, a deal that would have created a dominant force in the book market. But the U.S. Justice Department sued, alleging the sale would reduce the number of books published and damage competition, and U.S. District Judge Florence Y. Pan ruled in the government’s favor after a trial last summer. The DOJ’s case was part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to push back against proposed mergers.

Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins Publishing, each of which have expressed interest in buying Simon & Schuster, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. Paramount is otherwise expected to favor a private equity firm, which would not face similar government objections over anti-trust law.

National News

Associated Press

Gold bars and Sen. Bob Menendez’s curiosity about their price takes central role at bribery trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors showed jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez ’s trial on Thursday multiple instances when he researched the value of gold as he tried to help a New Jersey businessman who authorities say bribed him with gold and cash. The evidence about the Democrat’s online searches was prominently displayed to a New […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware fails in Senate

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware failed to win approval in the state Senate on Thursday after narrowly clearing the House earlier this year, but it could come back next week. The legislation failed in the Democrat-led Senate in a 9-9 tie after three members of the Democratic caucus spoke […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Amtrak trains suspended from Philadelphia to New Haven by circuit breaker malfunction

NEW YORK (AP) — Amtrak trains were temporarily suspended Thursday afternoon from Philadelphia to New Haven, Connecticut, by a circuit breaker malfunction, the national rail service said. The technical issue led to a widespread loss of power on the tracks between Penn Station in New York City and Union Station in Newark, New Jersey at […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Witnesses say Ohio man demanded Jeep before he stabbed couple at a Nebraska interstate rest area

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Witnesses say they heard an Ohio man demand the keys to a Jeep that was being towed behind a Missouri couple’s RV before he brutally stabbed them both and killed the man at an Interstate 80 rest area. James Thompson Jr., 22, was formally charged with first-degree murder and 10 […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

FBI raids homes in Oakland, California, including one belonging to the city’s mayor

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Federal authorities raided a home belonging to Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao early Thursday as part of a California investigation that included a search of at least two other houses, officials said. FBI agents carried boxes out of 80 Maiden Lane, a four-bedroom home that property records link to the first-term mayor, […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Roller coaster strikes and critically injures man in restricted area of Ohio theme park

CINCINNATI (AP) — A man who apparently entered a restricted area to retrieve his lost keys at a theme park in Ohio was critically injured when he was struck by a steel roller coaster, police and park officials said. The 38-year-old man appeared to have entered a fenced area at Kings Island Wednesday night, according […]

5 hours ago

Simon & Schuster again up for sale, executives confirm