Bertelsmann to acquire Simon & Schuster for $2.2 billion

FILE PHOTO: Pencils with the logo of German media group Bertelsmann CEO are seen at the annual news conference Berlin, Germany, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German media group Bertelsmann said on Wednesday it would acquire publisher Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion (1.63 billion pounds) in cash, strengthening its presence in the United States, its second-largest market.

Bertelsmann outbid Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in a contest for the publisher of Dan Brown, Hillary Clinton and Stephen King that Viacom put up for sale earlier this year to refocus on its online and advertising operations.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine and Klaus Lauer; editing by Thomas Seythal