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Vivek Shah, backed by Great Hill Partners, acquires Ziff Davis

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New York—Vivek Shah and Boston-based Great Hill Partners announced Friday that they have acquired Ziff Davis, publisher of PCMag.com. Shah, a former Time Inc. executive who left that company last year, will serve as CEO of Ziff Davis.

Jason Young previously was CEO of Ziff Davis. Shah and Young could not be reached for comment by press time.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In addition to PCMag.com, the brands involved in the deal are ExtremeTech, GearLog, GoodCleanTech, DL.tv, AppScout, CrankyGeeks, Smart Device Central and TechSaver.com. The deal also included Ziff Davis Labs, a computer testing lab.

"This is an unusual opportunity to acquire a recognized category leader with a very deep team of talent that has already fully transitioned to digital," Shah said in a statement. "Ziff Davis is an incredible foundation off which to build an exciting new digital media company focused on delivering fantastic content to our audience and unprecedented opportunities to marketers."

For most of the past decade—after it was sold by Softbank in 1999 and then later split off from Ziff Davis Enterprise—Ziff Davis has dealt with many of the challenges facing tech media companies. It exited bankruptcy protection in the summer of 2008, which reduced but did not eliminate its debt. Later that year, the company announced that it would no longer produce a print edition of the iconic PC Magazine.

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