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Bertelsmann interested in ViacomCBS's Simon & Schuster - FT

BERLIN, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Bertelsmann is interested in U.S. publisher Simon & Schuster and would be ready to put in a bid when its owner, ViacomCBS, moves ahead with a sale, CEO Thomas Rabe was quoted on Tuesday as saying.

The German media group, which recently took outright control over Penguin Random House - the world’s largest book publisher - “would, of course, be interested in Simon & Schuster”, Rabe told the Financial Times in an interview.

ViacomCBS chief executive Bob Bakish said in March that he was exploring options for Simon & Schuster, but the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the sale process, according to reports.

A Bertelsmann spokesman said Rabe had spoken to the FT and was asked about Simon & Schuster, but did not confirm his comments as cited by the newspaper.

Rabe made no mention of publishing deals on a call with reporters earlier to present Bertelsmann’s first-half results. The group reported a slight decline in profits as cost controls offset the hit to revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by Thomas Seythal)

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