Archive for Bertelsmann

Digital Media M&A

Posted in Deals, Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2008 by Dave Liu

Revolution Health, Waterfront Media Plan Merger To Compete With WebMD — Reports of this possibility first surfaced last month and now it’s done … Steve Case’s ambitious Revolution Health Network will merge with Waterfront Media in a deal the parties value at $300 million, according to the New York Times. Revolution’s sites will be absorbed into Waterfront’s Everyday Health Network but RevolutionHealth.com will remain. Case will join the board while Benjamin Wolin remains CEO of Waterfront Media, with Revolution as a “major investor” in the expanded Waterfront Media and its 24 sites. Case will continue to head parent company Revolution LLC “and will continue to be involved with health companies.”

Sony Has It All Now: Acquisition Of Bertelsmann’s 50 Percent Stake In Sony BMG Done, BMG Dropped — The second-largest record company in the world is now all Sony’s. As announced in August, Bertelsmann’s 50 percent stake in Sony BMG has been acquired by Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE). The former joint venture is now being renamed Sony Music Entertainment – a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corp. of America. The purchase values the company at nearly $1.8 billion, according to WSJ. Record labels Arista, Columbia, Epic, J, Jive and RCA all fall under the Sony umbrella, which holds contracts with artists such as Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Usher.

Morningstar Biz News Site Buying Investors Database For $19 Million — Investment research firm Morningstar is buying Fundamental Data Limited, a UK provider of online information about so-called “closed-end funds”, a type of of investment scheme, for £11 million. Fundamental’s products include the web-based dashboard FundWeb and info feeds, offered to investment banks, brokers etc. Morningstar, whose CEO Joe Mansueto later bought Inc and Fast Company magazines, also publishes information to financial professionals, tracking 280,000 investments; its UK site has a tenth of that plus company and executive biographies.

Washington Post Company Buys Foreign Policy Magazine — The Washington Post Company isn’t just an for-profit education company, as it’s still making moves to bolster the media side. Today it announced the acquisition of Foreign Policy magazine, along with its website Foreignpolicy.com. The bi-monthly glossy, which was originally founded in 1970, will become part of the Slate group, and the plan is for former WaPo foreign affairs editor Susan Glasser to edit the magazine. The magazine claims circulation of 100,000 and it notes that its website is “fast growing,” though no numbers were given out. Terms of the deal weren’t announced, and it’s not clear what Foreign Policy’s financials look like. But it might be a good guess that highbrow, almost-academic, long-form writing on foreign policy might be less exposed to some of the brutal forces impacting the magazine industry.

Digital Media M&A

Posted in Deals, Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2008 by Dave Liu

Comcast Interactive Media Acquires DailyCandy For $125 Million — This time the rumors were true, at least when it comes to the sale if not the price: e-mail service DailyCandy, the equivalent of an all-day sucker when it comes to the length of time on the block, finally has been sold to Comcast Interactive Media for an undisclosed sum. SAI, which shares an investor with DailyCandy in Pilot Group, has a source that puts the figure at $125 million, also being reported by WSJ. Viacom was among those talking to Pilot but dropped out of the bidding weeks ago before the final round, according to a source familiar with the discussions. (Update: Just talked to a Viacom spokesperson, who confirmed that the company looked but dropped out of the process in early June and never made “any kind of a bid.”).

Sony Buys Bertelsmann’s 50 Percent Stake In Sony BMG For $1.2 Billion — As expected, Sony Corp. and Bertelsmann AG have reached an agreement that has Sony buying Bertelsmann’s 50 percent stake in Sony BMG for $1.2 billion. The music company will be called Sony Music Entertainment Inc. and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. Sony and Bertelsmann AG originally created the Sony BMG joint venture in August 2004. Details about the financials are here (PDF). Bertelsmann had been seeking $1.5 billion for its stake, though it was expected with only $1.2 or $1.3 billion at most. Under the deal’s terms, the two have also agreed to continue to share the company’s manufacturing and distribution requirements between Sony’s manufacturing unit, Sony DADC, and Bertelsmann’s services company, Arvato Digital Services GmbH, by extending the agreements with Arvato for additional terms of up to six years. In addition, Bertelsmann will be taking over selected European music catalog assets from Sony BMG.

ESPN Buys Motorsport’s Racing-Live.com, Disney Bags RaisingKids.co.uk — ESPN is buying Racing-Live.com, an independent motorsports site founded way back in 1995. Racing-Live.com claims three million monthly uniques and has four sites – F1-Live.com, Moto-Live.com, Rally-Live.com and Raid-Live.com – covering F1, Moto GP, superbikes, rally, sports cars and karting. It was started by Montpellier-based racing fan Michel Marvie – who first began publishing motorsport news to France’s Minitel in the 80s – and has grown to offer live race updates and news in English, French, Japanese, Italian, German and Spanish.

Google Sells Performics SEM Unit To Publicis — After Google completed its acquisition of DoubleClick earlier this year, it announced plans to divest itself of Performics, the search marketing firm that came with the package. That Google wouldn’t want to be in the SEM game was pretty easy to comprehend. Today the company has announced that the unit will be sold to advertising firm Publicis for an undisclosed sum. The Paris-based ad holding company says it will combine the unit with its existing SEM practice and that it will strengthen its VivaKi Nerve Center. Performics has 200 employees around the globe who will report to Vivaki head Curt Hecht. The deal is expected to close this quarter.

Internet Brands Buys 12 Websites, Expands Careers And Shopping Verticals — Internet Brands buys in bulk. In April, the internet holding company announced it was buying five sites. In February it bought nine. Today it’s picking up 12, as it expands two major verticals: shopping and careers. No terms on the deals were disclosed. Shopping: The four sites acquired were Bargainist.com (lists good deals), Boddit.com (again, bargain hunting), Deallocker.com (user-submitted deals) and Ultimatecoupons.com. Obviously, the common thread is that they all appeal to people looking for a bargain—probably a smart approach in this economy. Careers: The other side of the economic coin: people are concerned about jobs. Hence a massive expansion of its careers category. Here are the 10 sites listed in the category, each of which should be self explanatory: AirlinePilotCentral.com, AviationEmployment.com, ClassADrivers.com, HospitalJobsOnline.com, ifr*eelance.com, ModelMayhem.com, NursingJobs.org, PPRuNe.org (The Professional Pilots Rumour Network), RealPolice.net, WAHM.com (Work At Home Moms). PPRuNe.org isn’t a new acquisition—it was just in a different category—and it seems that one other of these sites was also not a buy, though it doesn’t say which one. The point is: the company now has a vertical in careers comprising of ten sites.

Time Inc. Strange Buy: Acquiring Reader’s Digest School Funding Raising Unit QSP For $110 Million — Time Inc. has bought out QSP, a school and youth groups fundraising company that was part of Reader’s Digest Association, for $110 million in cash. RD is owned by PE firm Ripplewood Holdings. For Time Inc, the fit is, well, I’ll let them describe it: “It sees fundraising as a growing area for subscriptions across the magazine publishing industry and envisions benefits to operating QSP’s large direct-selling force in North America.” In other words, it will focus QSP on selling magazine subscriptions as a way to raise funds, something the company was already doing in addition to other incentives/gifts such as food items.