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Bids Made for Simon & Schuster

May 14, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ Media group Pearson PLC has teamed up with a U.S. investment firm to make a $4 billion offer to buy part of publisher Simon & Schuster, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

The Financial Times quoted sources ``close to Hicks, Muse,″ a Dallas-based company, but did not identify them.

Pearson, which owns the Financial Times, and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst had previously considered making rival bids for Simon & Schuster, which is up for sale by its parent, Viacom Inc.

Viacom announced earlier this year that it would sell the educational, professional and reference businesses of its Simon & Schuster publishing house to focus on faster-growing entertainment businesses.

Viacom said it would retain Simon & Schuster’s consumer publishing business.

Pearson and Hicks joined forces and made their bid on Wednesday to the investment bank Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, which is handling the sale for Viacom, the Financial Times said.

The Financial Times and The New York Times reported that bids also came from buyout specialists Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and magazine publisher Primedia, and Knowledge Universe, a company owned by Oracle chairman Larry Ellison and former junk bond king Michael Milken.

An announcement on the winning bidder could come as soon as Monday, the Financial Times said.

Phone calls placed to executives at London-based Pearson and Hicks, Muse were not immediately returned. Viacom spokeswoman Karen Zatorski said the ``sale is on track but we have nothing to announce.″

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