The global investment firm KKR completed its purchase of the book publisher Simon & Schuster from previous parent company Paramount on October 30, 2023.  The $1.62 billion all-cash transaction was announced last August (see “Private Equity Fund Acquiring Largest U.S. Distributor of Graphic Novels”) and makes S&S an independent private company, unique among the Big 5 U.S. publishers.  KKR will keep the current leadership team, including President and CEO Jonathan Karp.  As it has with other companies it acquired, KKR will offer all S&S employees an equity stake in the company.

Simon & Schuster publishes graphic novels under several imprints, including Aladdin (see “Best-Selling Middle-Grade Fantasy Series Being Adapted to Graphic Novels”), Atheneum (see “Preview: ‘Bunnicula’ HC”), and Gallery 13 (see “Gallery 13 Nabs Rights to Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ Graphic Novels’”).

It is also the distributor to the book channel for Image Comics (see “Image Signs Exclusive Book Distribution Deal with S&S”), VIZ Media, BOOM! Studios, Oni Press, AWA, Humanoids, Ahoy Comics, Andrews McMeel, Mad Cave Studios, Papercutz, Vault Comics, Scout Comics, Source Point Press, among others.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Karp described the acquisition as "both a return to our roots as a standalone company and an opportunity for all of us to forge a new path together," adding, "With KKR’s resources and support, we intend to become an even stronger company and a more dynamic force in our industry, while still maintaining our well-established record of editorial excellence and independence, and our unceasing focus on doing the best for our authors and their books."