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Paramount pulls out of deal to promote Simon & Schuster to Penguin

The Penguin brand is seen on the again of books displayed on a shelf at E-book Passage on November 2, 2021 in Corte Madera, California. The US Division of Justice has sued Penguin Random Home and Simon & Schuster to stop the businesses from finishing a $2.175 billion merger.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Photos Information | Getty Photos

Paramount International mentioned on Monday it was scrapping a $2.2 billion deal to promote e book writer Simon & Schuster to rival Penguin Random Home, weeks after a federal choose rejected the merger.

Penguin, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, mentioned it nonetheless believes Simon & Schuster is an effective match for its enterprise, however has accepted Paramount’s determination.

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“We imagine the choose’s ruling is incorrect and intend to enchantment the choice, assured that we may make a compelling and compelling argument to reverse the decrease courtroom’s ruling on enchantment,” Penguin mentioned in a press release Monday afternoon. “Nevertheless, we have now to just accept Paramount’s determination to not proceed.”

Paramount’s determination to droop the deal comes greater than a 12 months after the Justice Division sued to dam the deal, saying it will hurt competitors within the publishing world’s books. On Halloween, after a trial that included testimony from best-selling horror creator Stephen King, U.S. District Courtroom Choose Florence Y. Pan Halloween dominated in opposition to the settlement, handing a significant victory to the Biden administration’s anti-competitive agenda.

King, who writes books for Simon & Schuster, mentioned he was “happy” with the decision. “The proposed merger was by no means about readers and writers; it was about preserving (and rising) PRH’s market share. In different phrases: $$$,” he tweeted.

In Monday’s announcement, Paramount mentioned Penguin is in for a $200 million termination charge.

Paramount additionally indicated that it will search to dump Simon & Schuster.

“Simon & Schuster is a really invaluable enterprise with sturdy current efficiency,” Paramount mentioned. “Nevertheless, it isn’t video-based and subsequently doesn’t match strategically inside Paramount’s broader portfolio.”

Learn Paramount’s full launch right here:

Paramount International (f/ok/a ViacomCBS Inc.) (“Paramount”) introduced that it and sure of its subsidiaries have entered right into a inventory buy settlement (the “Buy Settlement”) to promote the Simon & Schuster enterprise to Penguin Random Home. LLC (a part of the Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA group, “Penguin Random Home”), topic to sure customary circumstances, together with receipt of relevant regulatory approvals (the “Sale”).

On November 2, 2021, the US Division of Justice (“DOJ”) filed go well with in the US District Courtroom for the District of Columbia to dam the Sale and on October 31, 2022, the Courtroom dominated in favor of the DOJ, enjoining the Sale (the “Resolution”). Following the choice, on November 21, 2022, Paramount terminated the Buy Settlement in accordance with its phrases. Penguin Random Home is pressured to pay a $200 million termination charge to Paramount. Simon & Schuster stays a non-core asset of Paramount, as decided in early 2020 when Paramount carried out a strategic evaluate of its belongings.

Simon & Schuster is a really invaluable enterprise with sturdy current efficiency; nevertheless, it isn’t video-based and thus doesn’t match strategically inside Paramount’s broader portfolio.

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