At a UBS media conference earlier this week, Bob Bakish, CEO of Simon & Schuster parent company Paramount Global, said that with the sale to Penguin Random House now dead, the company still plans to divest the publisher, though he didn’t say exactly how.
“We haven’t changed our point of view,” Bakish said. "[S&S] is not a core asset, because it is not a video asset. Our company is a video company.” He added: “We are going to do something in the marketplace with it as we move forward,” although what and when that will be is still to be determined.
Bakish told the conference that Paramount has collected the $200 million breakup fee it was owed from PRH since the acquisition didn’t go through. He also gave a nod to the record year S&S is having, saying the only good news coming from the failed sale is that the publisher’s financial performance is “materially higher than when we auctioned it.”
“It will all be fine eventually," Bakish said, “but it was a sub-optimal journey.”