Bertelsmann makes highest bid to acquire Simon & Schuster - FT

(Reuters) - German media group Bertelsmann made the highest bid in an auction for Simon & Schuster, the publishing unit of media company ViacomCBS Inc, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Two people familiar with the process said Bertelsmann offered more than $2 billion, according to the report. (

ViacomCBS Chief Executive Bob Bakish said in March that he was exploring options for Stephen King publisher Simon & Schuster, as the company looks to focus on its advertising and streaming businesses.

Bertelsmann, which owns Penguin Random House - the world’s biggest book publisher, outbid Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the FT report said.

The Financial Times had in September reported Bertelsmann’s interest in Simon & Schuster.

ViacomCBS did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath