Emap plc, the U.K.-based international publishing company, today announced plans to buy Los Angeles-based Petersen Publishing. The two companies unveiled a recommended tender offer under which Emap would acquire all of Petersen's shares for $34 a share. That price represents a 45% premium on Petersen's $23.50 closing price Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. James D. Dunning Jr., Petersen chairman, president and CEO, led the group of investors backed by Willis, Stein & Co. that bought Petersen from founder Robert Petersen in 1996 for a stunning $465 million. The present deal is expected to cost Emap more than $1.1 billion when it is completed, due to recent acquisitions (such as the six CurtCo/Freedom titles announced last week by Petersen)which could triple Mr. Dunning and company's price three years ago. Shareholders representing 73.5% of Petersen's fully diluted share capital, including certain of the company's management and others, have irrevocably agreed to accept the tender offer. The deal is expected to conclude in mid-January.
Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.