After a Federal Court blocked Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon and Schuster over antitrust concerns, the 99-year-old publishing company was put back up for sale by Paramount. Now, it’s being sold to the private equity firm KKR for $1.62 billion. The original sale to PRH was for $2.2 billion.
Jon Karp, chief executive of Simon & Schuster, told the New York Times, “I think I speak on behalf of the entire management team when I say we are thrilled with the result. They plan to invest in us and make us even greater than we already are. What more could a publishing company want?”
Under KKR ownership, Simon & Schuster employees will have an ownership stake in S&S. Pete Stavros, a co-head of global private equity at KKR, says this stake gives employees the possibility of a “life-impacting amount of wealth.”
KKR has previously bought RBMedia, an audiobooks company, and sold it at a profit. It is also invested in Overdrive, an ebook and audiobook platform used by libraries.
The private equity firm has had its share of controversy, including saddling Toys R Us with debt that allegedly contributed to its bankruptcy and investing heavily in fossil fuels and pipelines. KKR has also faced accusations of maintaining unacceptable living conditions in residential facilities it owns.
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