Paramount Global on Monday said it scrapped its $2.2 billion deal to sell book publisher Simon & Schuster to rival Penguin Random House, weeks after a federal judge rejected the merger.
Paramount Global (f/k/a ViacomCBS Inc.) (“Paramount”) announced that it and certain of its subsidiaries had entered into a Share Purchase Agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) to sell the Simon & Schuster business to Penguin Random House LLC (part of the Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA group, “Penguin Random House”), subject to the satisfaction of certain customary conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals (the “Sale”).
On November 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to block the Sale and on October 31, 2022, the Court ruled in favor of the DOJ, enjoining the Sale (the “Decision”). Following the Decision, on November 21, 2022, Paramount terminated the Purchase Agreement in accordance with its terms. Penguin Random House is obligated to pay a $200 million termination fee to Paramount. Simon & Schuster remains a non-core asset to Paramount, as was determined in early 2020 when Paramount conducted a strategic review of its assets.
Simon & Schuster is a highly valuable business with a recent record of strong performance; however, it is not video-based and therefore does not fit strategically within Paramount’s broader portfolio.
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