Cygnus has sold its final group of brands to Southcomm Business Media. The deal closes the chapter on Cygnus as a standalone company and ends an 18-month process of bank-directed divestments.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Included in the transaction were 10 trade shows, 10 publications and 5 websites for a collection of brands in the aviation, CPA, printing, automatic merchandising and landscape and facilities markets.
Update: All staff associated with the publications and events, including most of the corporate support staff, will transition to Southcomm.
Southcomm, a niche publisher of city weeklies and regional magazines in the Southeast and Midwest, also bought the 11-magazine and 7-trade show public safety group from Cygnus in November.
Update: All of the brands in the transaction, including the ones in the November deal, will operate as a division within Southcomm and continue to use the Cygnus Business Media brand. According to Southcomm CEO Chris Ferrell, "primary operations" will remain at Cygnus's Fort Atkinson, Wis. headquarters.
In all, Cygnus has dismantled itself through five divestitures that essentially began when CEO John French joined the company in 2009 just as it emerged from bankruptcy protection. French then directed a 7-month realignment around four affinity groups, setting the company up for its eventual piece-by-piece sell-off.
The other four deals include:
• Ag group sold to American Farm Bureau in August 2013
• Heavy construction group sold to AC Business Media in August 2014
• Residential construction group sold to SOLA Group September 2014
• Public safety group sold to Southcomm in November 2014
Corporate Solutions represented Cygnus in all five deals.