In what's easily the most significant deal in B2B media so far this year, two long-standing trade magazine stalwarts are merging operations and selling the newly combined company.
B2B publishers Stagnito Business Information and Edgell Communications have merged, the two companies announced today, and will transfer ownership to private equity investor RFE Investment Partners.
The merger gives birth to the most comprehensive B2B information and media resource in the North American grocery, convenience store, and big-box retail market, according to the new company.
"We are well on the way to creating the definitive retail business intelligence resource for retailers, retail suppliers, and technology vendors," said Stagnito COO, Kollin Stagnito, who will take over as CEO of the new combined company, in a statement.
Kollin Stagnito's father, Stagnito president and CEO Harry Stagnito, will take a seat on the newly formed board of directors. Edgell president and CEO Gerry Ryerson will retire.
Joining the elder Stagnito on the board of directors are executive chairman, Alan Glass, former chairman, president and CEO of Commonwealth Business Media; and Jim Casella, former chairman and CEO of Asset International.
Stagnito was previously owned by private equity firm Topspin LBO, who acquired the company in early 2012. Privately-owned Edgell was founded in 1985, but its familial connections go back as far as Minnesota-based Ojibway Press, which Robert Edgell founded in 1960.
The new company's combined portfolio includes the titles Progressive Grocer, Convenience Store News, Hospitality Technology, Apparel, and several others, as well as a number of live events and research outlets. Its temporary moniker will be, appropriately, Stagnito Business Information and Edgell Communications—at least until a new corporate name is determined.
"Customers will have access to business intelligence throughout the retail product lifecycle, including product creation, marketing, and distrubtuion; category management; retail merchandising; and point of sale," adds Stagnito. "Other media, research, and data companies provide parts of this solution today, but no company has connected the dots to allow those involved in retail to find solutions to all their challenges in one place."
Investment bank JEGI represented both Edgell and Stagnito in the pre-packaged merger and sale to RFE.