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ViacomCBS Near Sale of Simon & Schuster to Bertelsmann

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 11/24/2020 Nabila Ahmed

(Bloomberg) -- ViacomCBS Inc. is close to a $2 billion-plus deal to sell its Simon & Schuster book publishing business to German media giant Bertelsmann AG, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A deal, valuing the business at about $2.1 billion, could be announced as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details are private.

News Corp.’s HarperCollins and French media company Vivendi SA were also vying for the asset, people familiar with the matter have said.

A representative for Bertelsmann declined to comment on the deal, adding that the company has stated in the past that its Penguin Random House unit wants to grow organically and through M&A and that this remains the case. A spokesperson for ViacomCBS declined to comment.

The Financial Times first reported Bertelsmann is in pole position to acquire Simon & Schuster for more than $2 billion.

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