Wasserstein & Co. announced today that ALM, a media company serving legal and business professionals, has been sold to London-based Incisive Media for $630 million. Wasserstein announced in March that it had retained Credit Suisse to "explore strategic alternatives" for ALM. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007.
ALM, with over $200 million in estimated revenue and $50 million in EBITDA, publishes 33 national and regional magazines and newspapers, including The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel, and operates a large group of trade shows and Web sites.
The sale price for the ten-year-old company is on target with early estimates that had been downgraded from a $750 million asking price, according to one source. Nevertheless, the deal is one of the largest b-to-b transactions in the last three years, placing it among an elite group including VNU/Nielsen ($10 billion), Advanstar ($1.1 billion), Hanley Wood ($650 million), Penton ($530 million) and Primedia Business ($385 million).
Incisive, a $280 million b-to-b media company serving the financial services, risk management and marketing services markets, was involved in a $550 million management buyout in late 2006 led by chief executive Tim Weller and backed by private-equity firm Apax Partners.
ALM’s management team, led by president and CEO Bill Pollak is expected to remain in place. "ALM will be a big U.S. division for Incisive," says Scott Peters, managing director at The Jordan, Edmiston Group, a media M&A brokerage firm based in New York. "Incisive’s goal is to build a global, diversified b-to-b media company and they’re looking for a bigger footprint in the U.S. I think their ability to take ALM and help them outside the U.S. is going to be significant."