Former Cahners and Petersen exec Neal Vitale said to be buyer.
The buzz among b-to-b publishers at the Neal Awards luncheon today was that the long-delayed sale of 101communications is going to be announced imminently.
The speculation was that a purchase agreement was soon to be signed, and that the apparent buyer is former Cahners and Petersen Publishing executive Neal Vitale, said to be backed by Alta Communications and TA Associates. Jordan Edmiston is handling the transaction. 101 CEO Jeff Klein declined to comment. Vitale did not respond to an e-mail inquiry.
Klein confirmed to FOLIO: last September that the company was on the block and that he expected a deal to close by the end of 2005. However, sources said the deal was temporarily derailed a few months ago after the buyer balked at a $72 million price tag.
It was unclear what would happen to Klein, widely credited with the resurgence of the company, should the deal go through. One source stated emphatically that Klein would continue, while another said he would take on a non-executive role and be phased out.
101communications lost $7 million in 2001 but was back in the black by 2002. Between 2002 and 2005, EBITDA grew at a 25 percent compounded annual rate. In 2005, company revenue jumped 10 percent while EBITDA was up 40 percent. Revenue is between $50 and $100 million.