Earlier this week, investment firm KKR announced an agreement with Paramount Global to acquire book publisher Simon & Schuster for $1.62 billion in an all cash transaction.
The deal comes after a federal judge last year blocked Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster on antitrust grounds.
“As expected, the agreed sale price of $1.62 million is well below the $2.175 billion that Penguin Random House had previously agreed to pay for the country’s third largest trade publisher,” notes Publishers Weekly’s Andrew Albanese.
“On an earnings call this week, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish said he was very happy with the price, and explained why, in the end, Paramount actually came out ahead,”.
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According to Bakish, Paramount expects to yield approximately $1.3 billion in net proceeds from the sale to KKR. He noted that altogether – the $1.62 billion sale price, plus the $200 million termination fee paid by Penguin Random House after last year’s deal was blocked by regulators, plus the cash flow gained from strong sales from S&S over the last year – means Paramount will “realize approximately $2.2 billion of gross proceeds” from the S&S sale.
“And because the house is going to a private equity firm, it means the Big Five will stay the Big Five for now,” Albanese tells me.