“We've known of Dowden Health Media for a long time,” said Bob Fitzsimmons, managing partner of High Road. “We've always liked Dowden. It's a profitable company. It's growing, and it's in a good space.”
Dowden is made up of three divisions: the medical communications group, which creates educational content to help pharmaceutical companies reach physicians; the custom media group, which provides custom editorial content to hospitals; and eCrossings Media Group, which develops electronic media solutions.
High Road said it plans to build Dowden via acquisition.
”We look forward to working with Dowden's strong, experienced management team to broaden Dowden's offerings through organic growth and strategic add-on acquisitions,” High Road partner Jeff Goodrich said in a statement.
The deal follows on the heels of Lebhar-Friedman's sale last year of its one-time flagship property, Nation's Restaurant News, to Penton Media. In the wake of its $40 million acquisition of Dowden in 2005, Lebhar-Friedman went awry of its loan covenants with its banker, GE Capital. The end result was Lebhar-Friedman selling off numerous properties, including pieces of the Dowden acquisition—such as its sale of Dowden Professional Publications to Quadrant HealthCom last year.
Sources said Lebhar-Friedman is now free of its debt to GE Capital. Lebhar-Friedman operates four main brands: Chain Store Age, Drug Store News, Home Channel News and Retailing Today.
Fifth Third Bank provided senior debt financing for the acquisition. DeSilva & Phillips advised Lebhar-Friedman on the deal.