Primedia sells Bacon's Information for $90M

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New York--Primedia Inc. plans to sell its Bacon's Information unit to Stockholm-based Observer AB for $90 million. Chicago-based Bacon's is a provider of media information services, software and media monitoring, and press coverage analysis for the public relations industry. The deal is a financial coup for Primedia, which bought Bacon's in 1995 for $50 million. The sale is part of Primedia's goal of selling media properties it considers non-core in a bid to offset lower earnings because of the advertising fallout. "We have stated that we have a program to divest non-core assets and use the proceeds to improve our balance sheet," said Tom Rogers, chairman-CEO. "The sale of Bacon's enables us to do that. To complete this divestiture, under these market conditions, is a clear indication of the significant value of assets in our portfolio to strategic buyers." Primedia has also been making aggressive moves into lucrative niche media spaces, including finance. In September, it tapped Business Week editorial vet Geoff Lewis as editorial director of Primedia's Financial Services Group, which oversees publications including Trusts and Estates and Registered Representative.Observer AB has been on a global push to acquire and consolidate news monitoring companies. In March, it bought Dublin-based News Extracts, Ireland's largest media and news monitoring firm.

--Philip B. Clark

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