Meredith to buy G + J consumer titles; fate of business magazines uncertain

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Des Moines, Iowa—Meredith Corp. announced Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Parents, Child, Fitness and Family Circle magazines from Gruner + Jahr for $350 million.

Meredith estimated the properties’ EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) at $30 million, making the multiple almost 12.

The fate of Gruner + Jahr’s business publications, Inc. and Fast Company, remains unclear. If Gruner + Jahr cannot sell the business publications prior to the closing date for the sale of the consumer titles, expected to be June 30, Meredith has agreed to buy the business magazines and immediately offer them for sale.

Stephen M. Lacy, Meredith’s president-COO, said in a press conference that it was "highly likely" that Gruner + Jahr would sell the publications before Meredith would be required to buy them.

Industry observers expect both private equity and strategic buyers to be interested in Inc. and Fast Company.

"A lot of people will have an interest in Inc. magazine," said Robert Crosland, managing director at media investment bank AdMedia Partners. "It’s a solid brand that is well established in its niche and has a lot of ancillary revenue stream opportunities."

—Sean Callahan

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