Rumor Mill: Penton May Be Cygnus Buyer
Speculation of possible sale continues.
The latest gossip surrounding the apparent impending sale of Cygnus Business Media is that Penton Media (probably backed by parent Wasserstein & Co.) is the buyer. Today might be the final day of the due diligence process, according to three sources, all of whom are former Cygnus employees who heard the rumblings second hand.
When asked for comment, a Penton spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO: that Penton has “nothing to say at this point.”
DeSilva + Phillips managing partner Reed Phillips—who along with fellow managing partner Roland DeSilva spoke with Cygnus co-CEO Carr Davis in a closed-door meeting last month—said he could not confirm the rumors.
If the buyer is in fact Penton/Wasserstein, one M&A source, who wished to remain anonymous, said the interest would make sense. “Wasserstein had an interest in Cygnus when it was on the block a couple of years ago. To acquire Cygnus, you have to be comfortable with a wide-ranging b-to-b company that serves a range of verticals, which obviously they are with Penton.”
Cygnus went on the block in 2006 but subsequently pulled off the market that year.
The source suggested that Cygnus could be asking for about $200 million to $240 million, or about 8x estimated EBITDA.