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Bertelsmann buys Simon & Schuster for $2.2 billion

11/25/2020 | 01:20pm

A behemoth in the publishing industry just got a lot bigger.

The owner of Penguin Random House on Wednesday said it will acquire U.S. publisher Simon & Schuster for more than $2 billion in cash.

The German media group Bertelsmann outbid Rupert Murdoch's News Corp in a contest for the publisher of authors Dan Brown, Hillary Clinton and Stephen King that ViacomCBS put up for sale 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.

In a statement Rabe hailed the deal, saying, "We are building our position as one of the leading creative content companies in the United States ... I'm convinced that this a good day both for book publishing and for authors."

Size is important in publishing as bestseller lists become dominated by a handful of blockbusters - such as Penguin Random House's edition of former President Barack Obama's memoir 'A Promised Land'.

Simon & Schuster will remain under the umbrella of the far larger Penguin Random House.

The deal is expected to close during 2021 subject to antitrust approval.

© Reuters 2021
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