Simon & Schuster acquires Dutch book publisher Veen Bosch & Keuning, including all of its VBK publishers in Netherlands, Belgium, sister companies Thinium and Bookchoice; VBK is largest book publisher in the Netherlands

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NEW YORK and AMSTERDAM , May 17, 2024 (press release) –

Simon & Schuster (S&S) and Veen Bosch & Keuning (VBK) today announced that they have signed an agreement under which the leading Dutch publisher VBK will become part of S&S, one of the world’s preeminent publishing houses.

The acquisition includes all of VBK’s publishers in the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as sister companies Thinium and Bookchoice. In S&S, VBK has found a strategic partner to realise its long-cherished international ambitions while maintaining autonomy. Terms of the all-cash transaction were not disclosed.

In recent years, VBK has grown to become the largest book publisher in the Netherlands and is a distinguished and venerable collection of imprints, publishing many of the most popular and acclaimed Dutch and international authors. S&S, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, has approximately 1,700 employees and publishes 1,300 new titles annually that are available in more than 200 countries around the world.

Through S&S’s extensive international network of companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India, VBK’s authors will be given better opportunities to publish their work outside the Dutch-speaking region. Importantly, VBK will retain its independence: the company will continue to operate autonomously and as such will also maintain its editorial independence. VBK CEO Geneviève Waldmann will continue to lead the Dutch business and will join the S&S Leadership Team.

VBK finds in S&S a like-minded partner in the field of innovation. The scale at which S&S operates offers significant growth opportunities for VBK in areas such as technology, production, and distribution. The companies’ shared ambition is that the work of VBK’s Dutch-language authors will find untapped audiences on a global scale.

For S&S, the acquisition of VBK represents its first foray into ownership of a non-English publisher, and fits well in its strategy to expand its publishing reach in key geographies. Through VBK, S&S will gain greater access to the Dutch and broader European markets. The companies aim to provide a better avenue to sell, produce, and distribute its titles in Europe and to publish more S&S titles locally.

“We would like to offer our writers a larger and international platform. By joining S&S, we can expand on this ambition and our pursuit of further digitisation and innovation. S&S and VBK are a perfect match. Both publishing houses, which are led by experienced publishers, have been around for over a century and serve a broad portfolio of writers. Creativity and entrepreneurship are shared core values, which are also reflected in the organizational culture where authors typically work in small teams with committed editors and collaborators,” says Geneviève Waldmann, CEO of VBK.

Jonathan Karp, President and CEO of S&S, adds: “In the discussions with VBK about a possible collaboration, we immediately noticed that as publishers we share the same values and have the same way of working. We have great confidence that VBK, under Geneviève’s leadership, will continue to flourish. Our common goal is to expand the audience for our authors and their books in an increasingly international publishing industry. We are very excited about VBK’s growth opportunities. It will maintain its independence and operate as an autonomous division within our company. I look forward to welcoming all VBK colleagues.”

VBK, Thinium and Bookchoice will remain Dutch companies, based in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Weesp and Antwerp. All employees of the group, the publishers and sister companies will be included in the acquisition. Based on the joint belief that employee engagement and a strong ownership culture are decisive factors in strengthening the combined publisher, all VBK employees will be able to benefit from the S&S broad based ownership program.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including standard review by competition authorities.

About Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster was founded in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. This year, the publishing house, one of the global Big Five, celebrates its centennial. The publishing company is led by Jonathan Karp – President and Chief Executive Officer – and has numerous well known publishing imprints in its portfolio, including Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Avid Reader Press, Gallery Books, Pocket Books, Simon Element and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. The publishing house specialises in literary and commercial fiction, non-fiction and children’s books and reaches a worldwide readership with physical and digital (both e-books and audio) editions. S&S has 1,700 employees and publishes 1,300 new titles annually that are available for sale in more than 200 countries. Bestselling and acclaimed writers published by Simon & Schuster include Colleen Hoover, Stephen King, Jesmyn Ward, Bob Woodward, Walter Isaacson, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tony Robbins, Annie Proulx, Fredrik Backman, Bob Mortimer, Judy Blume, Ruth Ware, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Anthony Doerr, Hannah Grace and Nicci French.

About VBK

Together with Bookchoice and Thinium, Veen Bosch & Keuning Publishers Group is part of the Shared Stories Group. VBK is the largest publisher in the Netherlands and has a diversity of imprints: Alfabet, Ambo|Anthos, AnkhHermes, Atlas Contact, De Fontein, Houtekiet, KokBoekencentrum, Kosmos, Mozaïek, Luitingh-Sijthoff, Omniboek, Ten Have, Van Dale, Zomer & Keuning and Zwartjes & Labovic, some of which have a history that goes back more than 150 years. The company is led by publisher Geneviève Waldmann as the CEO of the group. VBK has 280 employees and publishes 1,500 titles annually in the Netherlands and Belgium. Portfolio authors include renowned names such as Geert Mak, Lucas Rijneveld, Murat Isik, Herman Koch, Sacha Bronwasser, Haruki Murakami, Dan Brown, Anya Niewierra, Charlie Mackesy, Jamie Oliver, Jeff Kinney, Nicci French, Charlotte Labee, Jan Brokken, Mel Wallis de Vries, Adriaan van Dis, Jozua Douglas, Nelleke Noordervliet, Kevin Hassing, Elke Wiss, Mathijs Deen, Coen Verbraak, Zoete Zusjes, Baantjer, Mensje van Keulen, Jo Claes and Marc de Bel.

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

For VBK:
Clemens Sassen, HSC, E: clemens@hscomms.nl.

For S&S:
Adam Rothberg, SVP Corporate Communications, E: adam.rothberg@simonandschuster.com
Frank Jansen, FGS Global, E: frank.jansen@fgsglobal.com

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