Condé Nast latest company to divest print assets, focus on digital growth

August 22, 2014

Practitioner Insights thumbnail 2(Editor’s Note: This post is an excerpt from an article appearing in Practitioner Insights on WestlawNext)

Following in the steps of other media companies that have shed print assets in light of struggling sales, Condé Nast announced on Aug. 19 that it would sell a group of its trade print publications to focus on digital and broadcasting assets.

The New York-based mass media company will sell the U.S.-based trade publishing assets of Fairchild Fashion Media to Penske Media Corp. These assets include such brands as Women’s Wear Daily, Footwear News, Beauty Inc, M and Fairchild Summits. Although the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, it is rumored that Penske paid approximately $100 million for the assets.

In announcing the deal, Condé Nast’s CEO said that the transaction was part of its “strategy of investing resources in [its] core consumer brands.” The divestiture will allow the company to continue to accelerate growth in its high performance areas of “consumer print, digital, mobile, events, video, television and film development businesses.”

Further highlighting its strategy to invest in digital media, the company will retain ownership of its consumer brands website Style.com and NowManifest, an Internet portal that provides access to fashion blogs online.

The sale is part of a larger push by Condé Nast to expand its digital and e-commerce presence. The company has engaged in a number of recent transactions to further this strategy, including: (i) a partnership between Bon Appétit and Epicurious, a website featuring recipes from celebrity chefs and cookbook authors, to create “one of the world’s largest digital food advertising platforms; and (ii) the formation of The Lucky Group, which combines the company’s Lucky brand print, digital and media magazine content with e-commerce platform BeachMint.

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