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The Wall Street Journal: Paramount terminates agreement to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin

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Paramount Global, which owns the Simon & Schuster book-publishing unit, said in a federal filing Monday that it has terminated its agreement to sell Simon & Schuster to rival Penguin Random House. 

Paramount
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-0.75%

said that Simon & Schuster “remains a non-core asset” and that the publisher “does not fit strategically within Paramount’s broader portfolio,” suggesting Simon & Schuster eventually will go back on the sales block.

In a letter to staff, Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp said that he had “no specific information to impart about what will happen in the coming months.” Karp, however, described 2022 as “one of the single greatest years in our history” and said the company had “never been more profitable and valuable than it is today.”  

The proposed $2.18 billion deal, disclosed in November 2020, was blocked on competitive grounds Oct. 31 by U.S. District Judge Florence Pan. Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media company Bertelsmann SE
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-0.56%
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said at the time that it would seek an expedited appeal and subsequently sought Paramount Global’s support. 

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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