Rupert Murdoch’s media giant News Corp, owner of HarperCollins, has made a bid for Simon & Schuster, according to a report in the New York Times.
The newspaper, which says its source is “three people familiar with the process who declined to be named because the matter remains confidential”, claims Bertelsmann, owner of Penguin Random House, is the other leading bidder. The Financial Times suggests that French media group Vivendi may also be mulling a bid.
According to the New York Times, one of the bids currently in play exceeds $1.7bn, far above the minimum price set by parent company ViacomCBS. Several financial firms have reportedly shown interest, but are now out of the running, having placed lower offers, it says.
In an interview with the Financial Times in September, Thomas Rabe, c.e.o of Bertelsmann, said he was “interested” in S&S and would look to make a bid. “We combined Penguin and Random House very successfully to create by far the largest book publisher in the world—actually, the only global book publisher. Given this position, we would, of course, be interested in Simon & Schuster,” he said.
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