U.S. markets close in 1 hour 28 minutes

ViacomCBS To Sell Publishing Subsidiary Simon & Schuster

Neer Varshney

ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA) (NASDAQ: VIAC) is looking to sell the veteran publishing subsidiary Simon & Schuster, chief executive officer Bob Bakish said in a call with investors Wednesday.

What Happened

"Simon & Schuster is not a core asset of the company," Bakish told investors, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The CEO added that he had received "multiple unsolicited inbound calls" about Simon & Schuster.

News Corp (NASDAQ: NWSA) (NASDAQ: NWS) subsidiary HarperCollins Publishers could be one of the potential bidders alongside Lagardere S.C.A. (OTC: LGDDF) subsidiary Hachette Book Group, per the Journal.

"HarperCollins has been interested in gaining scale through organic growth and acquisitions of other companies," the publisher's CEO Brian Murray told the Journal. "Any time a publishing company is on the market, we'd like to take a look."

Why It Matters

Viacom and CBS merger in December last year and were at the time reported to be looking to sell some of the subsidiaries not in line with their core business of media.

The sale of print books has also remained stagnant, as e-books and audiobooks see rising popularity.

ViacomCBS had reported a revenue of $814 million from publishing for the financial year 2019, down 1.3% from the $825 million posted a year earlier.

Price Action

ViacomCBS's Class A shares closed 1.62% higher at $28.78 on Wednesday, and Class B shares closed 0.09% higher at $23.1.

News Corp's Class A shares closed 0.55% lower at $11.77, and Class B shares closed 0.08% higher at $12.10.

See more from Benzinga

© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.