On Monday, Paramount announced that a deal had been agreed to sell Simon & Schuster – the largest and most prestigious publishing house in the world – to private equity firm KKR. This $1.62-billion deal will transfer authors such as Stephen King and Bob Woodward into the hands of a well-known financial buyer in the publishing sector. Several private equity investors already have a large stake in the book industry, and the purchase of one of the biggest publishers in the nation will increase their investment in the business.
When Simon & Schuster was first put up for sale in 2020, many in the publishing industry were concerned about the future of the company. If sold to another publisher, the new management would have a better grasp of the book business. However, this could also lead to further consolidation of the industry with fewer players willing to bid for big books and the potential for job cuts. Paramount’s initial attempt to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House was blocked due to antitrust concerns by the government in 2020.