Buyer: Wachovia Capital
Seller: Randall Publishing
Sale Price: $75 million
EBITDA Multiple: 9X
The deal behind the deal: B-to-B publisher Randall Publishing’s controlling shareholders, the family and estate of H. Pettus Randall III, sold off all of its interests to Randall-Reilly Publishing;a company freshly created by F. Mike Reilly, the CEO;and Wachovia Capital Partners. The sale marks the end of the family’s stewardship of the company, which publishes Equipment World, Overdrive, Truckers News and Modern Woodworking, among others. Reilly will remain as CEO, with David Wright as COO and Shane Elmore as CFO. No staff changes are planned and headquarters will remain in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
New York-based DeSilva & Phillips represented Randall in the acquisition.
Our panel says: “It’s a very good transaction for everyone involved. Wachovia has been pursuing Randall since 2002. Good and fair deal.”
“Wachovia was attracted by a strong management team;Mike Reilly, who knows the company inside and out.”
Buyer: Ogden Publications
Seller: Linda Ligon
Sale Price: $3 million
Revenue Multiple: est. 3X
The deal behind the deal: Linda Ligon, former owner of Interweave Press, which was sold to Clay Hall’s Aspire Media back in June 2005 for approximately $10 million, sold her final title, Natural Home and Garden to Topeka, Kansas-based Ogden Publications, publishers of Mother Earth News and nine other magazines.
Natural Home and Garden was founded by Ligon in 1999, beginning life as Natural Home and eventually relaunched as Natural Home and Garden in spring 2005.
New York-based investment firm AdMedia Partners represented Ligon in both deals.
Our panel says: “It’s a good strategic fit for Ogden.” “That seems like the perfect home for that title.”
Sale Price: $72.5 million
EBITDA Multiple: N/A
The deal behind the deal: Primedia bought a majority stake in new and used car search site Automotive.com;attracted by its online lead generation capabilities. The company spent $72.5 million in cash for an 80 percent stake, with an agreement that the remaining 20 percent will be bought no later than early 2010 contingent on incremental earnings generated by the Web site.
This makes the second Web-related purchase for Primedia in about a month, even as the company is exploring both splitting its enthusiast and guide divisions and spinning them off, and selling off parts of its enthusiast group.
Our panel says: “When you look at where they’re going, are they buying, are they selling? It’s probably something [former CEO Kelly Conlin] put in the works a long time ago.”
“It’s kind of weird for them to be buying more properties right now.”
Seller: Black Hat Inc.
Sale Price: $12 million est.
Revenue Multiple: 2X
The deal behind the deal: Black Hat, a producer of information security conferences and services, was bought by entertainment, healthcare and technology publisher CMP for approximately $12 million. Assets included in the acquisition are Black Hat Consulting, Black Hat Training and Black Hat Briefings and Conferences. The DefCon hacker confab and spinoff was not included in the deal.
Black Hat will remain a separate entity within CMP, with founder Jeff Moss staying on as director, but will be aligned with CMP’s current security portfolio which includes the Computer Security Institute event, Secure Enterprise, and Securitypipeline.com. New York-based investment banking firm Jordan, Edmiston Group represented Black Hat in the transaction.
Our panel says: “It’s a product line of the future. Anything tech-related you’re going to see a lot more interest there.”
“It’s an interesting play for CMP. There’s been some concern in the security community that a big publisher like CMP will stifle an independent operation like Black Hat.”
Other recent deals:
Phoenix-based McMurry bought custom publisher Media 3 Publications; whitepaper giant TechTarget purchased IT whitepaper publisher.
SecurityDocs.com; alternative lifestyle portal Planet Out Inc. acquired LPI Media, publisher of Out and The Advocate for $31.1 million.
Buying? Selling? Know someone who is?
Submit M&A related tips and news to senior editor Bill Mickey at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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