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    It’s done. Simon & Schuster is now owned by a private equity firm.

    Janet Manley

    August 8, 2023, 8:09am

    Jenny Han and Stephen King: welcome to your new home. Simon & Schuster, the 99-year-old publishing house, has been sold by Paramount to KKR for $1.62 billion, the New York Times reports. This came after a deal between Paramount and Penguin Random House was blocked under anti-trust laws.

    The upside for employees is a piece of the pie. All Simon & Schuster employees will receive an ownership stake in the company. Previously, when KKR sold RBMedia, “those who worked there earned a cash payout from the sale worth up to two times their salary,” KKR representatives told the Times. Provided of course they continue to work there.

    The big question is how KKR will pursue growth (and I note that S&S have had a strong 2023, compared to the other big publishers). Apparently, advisor Richard Sarnoff (formerly of Bertelsmann) and KKR co-head of global private equity Pete Stavros are eyeing an international expansion and increase in audiobooks. They’re also going to “publish more books and publish them better,” per the LA Times.

    Since its founding in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster, Simon & Schuster has acquired dozens of companies, including Prentice Hall and Macmillan Publishing Company (since sold). The company published bestsellers like Less Than Zero, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and Nice Guys Finish Last.

    Shall leave this here!

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