A source familiar with the deal said today the revenues for the crafts group are estimated to be $60 million and that $132 million is a "very good" price for the assets, which also include a staple of events and conferences. Still, another source said, "The original price expectations promulgated by the financial advisor were a good deal higher than the $132 million." So high, in fact, that Goldman Sachs, retained by Primedia late last year for the sale, turned down one offer at $160 million from a "logical" buyer, the source said. Primedia through a company spokesman declined to comment on the deal. The announcement was made in the form of a news brief on the Web site for Craftrends magazine, one of the publications in the crafts group. The sale includes 10 magazines and their affiliated events, including the MemoryTrends Conference & Expo, Creating Keepsakes Universities, and Creating Keepsakes Conventions. Besides Craftrends, Creating Keepsakes, Simple Scrapbooks, Paper Crafts, McCall’s Quilting, McCall’s Quick Quilts, Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, Quiltmaker, Sew News, and Creative Machine Embroidery are included in the deal.
The new company will operate as a stand-alone LLC under the temporary name of Enthusiast Media. A new name and logo will be introduced following completion of the sale, the news brief said. The Crafts Group employs 137 people in offices in Golden, Colorado, and Bluffdale, Utah.
Sandler is headquartered in New York and is a registered investment advisor that manages both hedge funds and private equity funds with a multi-sector focus in media, entertainment/leisure, telecommunications, technology, information and business services, and consumer companies.
Sandler Capital was one of at least two private equity firms that backed Bob Guccione Jr.’s Discover Media LLC when it purchased Discover from Disney last year for under $20 million. Guccione Jr. is the founder of alt-music magazine Spin and now-defunct laddie magazine Gear. Sandler officials could not immediately be reached for comment.