International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) has found a buyer, one year after the digital media and events company started looking for new ownership.
China Oceanwide and IDG Capital announced yesterday a definitive agreement to acquire the entire IDG package. The Wall Street Journal reports that China Oceanwide will pay under $1 billion — less than a quarter of the $4 billion in revenues estimated by IDG insiders in early 2016.
The deal, which has received clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment, will split the company into two parts. The committee is a inter-agency federal entity that reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies.
China Oceanwide will become the controlling shareholder of IDG’s operating businesses, which includes its subsidiaries — the International Data Corporation (IDC) and IDG Communications, the branch which runs several media brands, including PC World and Computerworld.
IDG Capital — an independent venture capital firm in China with limited partners, including IDG — will become the controlling shareholder of IDG Ventures.
IDG headquarters will stay in Boston, Massachusetts, and the company will continue to be managed by its current leadership, including IDC president and CEO Kirk Campbell, and IDG Communications CEO Michael Friedenberg.
A new board of directors will be chosen after the transaction closes.
This sale follows the 2014 death of founder and owner Pat McGovern. IDG has since been owned by the McGovern Estate for the benefit of the McGovern Foundation.
Interestingly, the reported IDG sale price of $1 billion is only two-thirds of what Informa paid for Penton Media in September. Hoovers estimates Penton revenues at around $233 million, far less than IDG's estimated revenue, which ranges as high as $4 billion.