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ViacomCBS to Sell Simon & Schuster Unit

ViacomCBS is planning to sell off its Simon & Schuster book publishing unit.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference Tuesday, ViacomCEO Bob Bakish said the company has been conducting a portfolio review to identify assets that could be sold.

“Coming out of that, we've made the determination that Simon & Schuster is not a core asset of the company. It is not video-based. It doesn't have significant connectivity to our broader business,” he said. "At the same time there is no question that it's a marquee asset, it's highly valuable."

Bakish said he and the company have already had “multiple, unsolicited inbound calls” about Simon & Schuster.

“As this market stabilizes we are going to engage in a process and look at strategic alternatives for Simon & Schuster,” he said. "And rest assured we're going to look for other places where we believe there are opportunities to dispose of assets in a creative way."

"This will produce material cash in 2020,” he added.

ViacomCBS previously announced plans to sell Black Rock, CBS’s long-time Manhattan headquarters. Bakish said that several blue-chip potential have been touring the building as part of the due diligence for making a bid.

“We believe there is the opportunity for accretive dispositions of non-core assets,” he said.