Wind Point Partners to Buy Publishing Companies Highline, Pfingsten (posted 11/06)
Wind Point Partners, the Chicago-based private-equity firm that owns Active Interest Media, has agreed to purchase both Highline Media and Pfingsten Publishing, M&A and company sources told Folio: on Friday.
Highline–a business with revenue of more than $50 million–is expected to sell for about $90 million, one source said, while a second source said there is still some last-minute negotiating to be done.
Highline CEO Andrew Goodenough will apparently stay on and continue to run the company following the sale.
The deal is expected to be announced soon.
The private equity source described Pfingsten as a "decent" company with revenues of more than $40 million and EBITDA of around $13 million. "(The sales price) should be around $100 million, but Pfingsten got caught in a busted auction earlier this year, so it might not get the price it should," the source said.
For Erlanger, Kentucky-based Highline, a $90 million sales price would give Spire Capital, Highline’s current owners, better than a 1.5Xrevenue multiple. It publishes magazines in the insurance and financial sectors including National Underwriter, Property/Casualty, Life/Health, Claims, Florida Underwriter, Wealth Manager and Research and Futures. BMO Capital Markets is representing Highline in the deal.
A publishing source also described Pfingsten, based in Seven Hills, Ohio, as a well-run company. "We had put a strong bid in on part of Pfingsten last summer," the source said. "Apparently they decided they didn’t want to parcel out the operation as we were told by the broker (the Jordan, Edmiston
Group) that they had found a buyer for the entire operation." Pfingsten’s magazines include DÉCOR, Life Insurance Selling, Mortgage Originator, Progressive Distributor, and MRO Today, among other titles.
The private-equity source says Wind Point is buying the two companies together because of the synergy that exists between Highline and Pfingsten’s financial properties. The source says the deals are expected to be announced simultaneously.
A source connected to Wind Point said Zimbalist’s Active Interest Media is not involved in the Pfingsten and Highline deals.