Publishing: Paramount Agrees to Sell Simon & Schuster to KKR, a Private Equity Firm For $1.62 Billion
From The NY Times:
Paramount said on Monday it had reached a deal to sell Simon & Schuster, one of the biggest and most prestigious publishing houses in the United States, to the private-equity firm KKR, in a major changing of the guard in the books business.
The deal, for $1.62 billion, will put control of the cultural touchstone behind authors like Stephen King and Bob Woodward in the hands of a financial buyer with an expanding presence in the publishing industry.
While private equity investors have had a significant footprint in the book business — different firms have owned literary agencies, publishing houses and the retailer Barnes & Noble — the acquisition of one of the largest publishers in the country vastly increases the hold of financial interests in the business.
KKR is not new to the books business. In addition to RBMedia, KKR has also invested in Overdrive, a digital reading platform used in libraries and schools. Some of those bets have already paid off: KKR agreed to sell RBMedia last month at a substantial premium to its acquisition price. KKR said that under its ownership RBmedia doubled the size of its audiobook catalog, from over 31,000 to over 66,000 audiobooks.
Simon & Schuster, run by CEO Jonathan Karp, has a roster that includes recent bestsellers from Stephen King, Colleen Hoover, Taylor Jenkins Reid and Ruth Ware under 20-plus imprints including Scribner, Atria, Gallery and One Signal that comprise 36,000 titles. Recently unveiled book deals include memoirs from Britney Spears, actress Nia Long, TV host Stephen A. Smith and director Edward Zwick. Leadership, including Karp as CEO and Dennis Eulau as COO, will stay in place as Simon & Schuster transitions to a standalone company in the KKR portfolio.
See Also: Official Joint News Release (via KKR)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.