Chicago—Sources have confirmed that Northstar Travel Media, which publishes Travel Weekly, is actively looking for a buyer. The company has been owned by a Boston Ventures private equity fund since 2001; that is considered to be an extremely long tenure for a financial player to own a media company.
Sources said the Jordan, Edmiston Group, a media industry investment bank, is handling the process.
According to industry observers, Boston Ventures attempted to sell the company four years ago; however, the recession derailed that attempt. Observers added that Northstar is not a distressed asset as are many b-to-b media properties that were sold in recent years.
Northstar is said to have experienced double-digit growth last year both in revenue and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Tom Kemp has been chairman-CEO of Northstar since 2009.
Some in the industry said Northstar will be a litmus test of how attractive such a property—diversified in events and online but still reliant on print advertising for about 50% of its revenue—will be to private equity, which has been burned by b-to-b media bankruptcies.