Economist Group sells majority stake in ‘CFO’ to Seguin Partners

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New York—The b-to-b media M&A market continues to show signs of life. Private equity firm Seguin Partners announced Monday that it has acquired CFO Publishing, in partnership with CFO’s management, from The Economist Group.

The Economist Group will retain a minority stake in the new company, CFO Publishing Holdings. In addition to CFO magazine, CFO Publishing includes online products, conferences, research and custom publishing.

Seguin operating partner Alan Glass will become chairman of CFO Publishing Holdings. Seguin’s principals, including Glass and managing partner Martin Madden, previously partnered with The Economist Group in 2001 when they acquired a majority stake in The Economist Group’s Journal of Commerce. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to work with a brand as strong as CFO,” Glass said in a statement.

Frank Quigley, CFO's current general manager, will become president-CEO of CFO Publishing. Quigley noted that while CFO's print revenues have declined "with the market," he said its online, conferences, research and custom publishing components all posted increases last year compared with 2008. Quigley also said the preliminary indications are that 2010 is looking stronger than last year. "Marketers understand how important it is to reach the CFO," he said.

The Economist Group has been active in the M&A market in the past several months. In 2009, it acquired Congressional Quarterly from Times Publishing Co. CFO reportedly had been for sale since early in 2009. "CFO has always been, and remains, a strong, profitable business. We are confident that this partnership with Seguin will enable it to continue expanding online, in research and databases, and in events while fully capitalizing on the potential of its print magazine,” Paul Rossi, managing director-exec VP of The Economist Group in the Americas, said in a statement.

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