“NRN is a property Penton has coveted owning for some time,” Penton CEO Sharon Rowlands said in a statement.
As part of the deal, NRN Publisher Randall Friedman will join Penton and become the market leader of the Penton restaurant group, which will also include Penton properties Restaurant Hospitality and Food Management. “Being part of a larger company with the internal resources to handle our growth is critical to our future,” Friedman said in a statement.
Friedman will report to Dan Bagan, senior VP at Penton. “Having started my career at Lebhar-Friedman, I know NRN well and have long admired its strong connection in the food service community,” Bagan said in a statement.
Lebhar-Friedman is also expected to announce the sale of the remaining properties from its ill-fated acquisition of Dowden Health Media in 2005 later this week. Sources say that Lebhar-Friedman will continue to operate its retail properties, which include Chain Store Age and Drug Store News.
Industry observers say that Lebhar-Friedman was pushed to sell the properties by its bank, GE Capital, due to the debt load incurred by the Dowden transaction. Lebhar-Friedman sold Dowden Professional Publications last year to Quadrant HealthCom.