Cygnus Continues Sell Off, Divests Public Safety Group
Deal includes 11 magazines, seven trade shows.
Cygnus continued its piece-by-piece sell off Monday, sending its public safety and transportation divisions to SouthComm.
Terms weren’t disclosed.
The deal includes 11 magazines, seven trade shows and seven digital properties. Cygnus says all employees moving to new ownership will be retained.
In moves dictated by bank ownership, it’s the fourth major divestiture for Cygnus in the last 16 months. The company sold its agriculture group to the American Farm Bureau last August, its heavy construction and logistics groups to AC Business Media this August and its residential construction group to an undisclosed private buyer in September.
The public safety sale is the largest of the bunch. The company announced it was on the block in May.
"We’re still owned by banks and by that definition at some point we’ll have to sell the company," John French, CEO of Cygnus, told FOLIO: at the time the agriculture group officially went up for sale. "My job has been to come in and take the company out of bankruptcy and improve value."
He updated that sentiment in a statement on Monday’s sale: "Five years ago we embarked on a mission to improve Cygnus and return value to our shareholders. During the last several years, the company has worked hard to turn its properties into multi-platform industry-leading brands because we knew one day the company would be sold. With this sale today, we take another step toward that ultimate goal."
For Nashville-based SouthComm, the deal nearly doubles its staff size and immediately entrenches the company in the B2B space (SouthComm previously had a chain of local medical B2B publications in various markets). The company also publishes alt-weekly newspapers in six markets and has a custom publishing division.
"We applaud John and his team for the work they’ve done to make these properties industry leaders and profitable," said SouthComm founder and CEO Chris Ferrell. "We are excited to add these groups to the SouthComm portfolio of businesses and continue to provide leading content to all of the audiences served by these well-known brands."