New York--Ziff-Davis announced Monday that it has agreed to sell ZD Publishing to investment firm Willis Stein & Partners for $780 million. For the deal, Willis Stein has once again teamed with James Dunning Jr., who was part of the Willis Stein-led group that acquired Petersen in 1996 and then sold the company to Emap plc earlier this year. Mr. Dunning will serve as chairman-CEO of the new ZD Holding and chairman of Ziff-Davis Publishing. Mike Perlis will continue as president-CEO of Ziff-Davis Publishing. Ziff-Davis' Computer Shopper
magazine and its ownership interest in Red Herring
are not included in the deal. Following the completion of the transaction, which is expected in the first quarter of 2000, ZDNet will retain the right to use Ziff-Davis Publishing content for five years in return for a royalty. The ZD Publishing deal is the biggest yet in the dismantling of Ziff-Davis, which in recent months has sold three other divisions: ZD Market Intelligence, ZDTV and ZD Education. The fate of the remaining two divisions--ZDNet and ZD Events--is expected to be determined in the coming weeks.