The B2B publisher is shuttering its horticulture group, selling two publications and two events to Great American Media Group, a Sparta, Mich.-based media company in the agriculture, retail and sports markets. On the heels of a multi-year, companywide growth run, says president and CEO Ed Gillette, it was an opportune time to sell the properties.
“We’ve grown probably 250 to 300 percent in the last six years, so this is probably a logical portfolio management time to trim back and organize where we’re going,” he says. “Our direction is healthcare and cradle-to-grave construction, which includes infrastructure, residential, commercial and equipment. We’re seeing extremely good growth in data, events and digital in those areas and we’re going to focus on that.”
In the all-cash deal brokered by Corporate Solutions, Great American gets Big Grower Executive Summit; Plant Health Management Conferences; Greenhouse Product News; and Lawn & Garden Retailer. Scranton Gillette has owned the two publications for 25 years and 14 years, respectively, while the events have been launched with the last five years. All have been experiencing double-digit growth in recent years, says Gillette, and he sees it continuing.
The properties complement Great American’s existing portfolio consisting of nine magazines and websites targeting niche agriculture and food processing markets.
The deal’s terms weren’t disclosed. Gillette says its value represents about five percent of the company’s annual revenues.
Plans were taking shape for a seamless transition to the new owner; “It’s my understanding that everyone who was ‘market-facing’ with the brands we sold has been offered a job by Great American,” Gillette says.