Sandler Capital Management Acquires Market-Leading Crafts Group from PRIMEDIA
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enthusiast Media LLC, an entity formed by affiliates of Sandler Capital Management, has acquired substantially all of the assets of the Crafts Group from PRIMEDIA, Inc. (NYSE: PRM) for approximately $132 million in cash.
“We are pleased to partner with Dave O’Neil, Lisa Bearnson and the rest of the Enthusiast Media management team to take the company to the next level of success. We believe there are numerous opportunities to grow these market-leading crafts brands, especially in the digital media and online sectors.”
As a leader in specialty publishing within the growing $30 billion crafts marketplace, Enthusiast Media LLC publishes nine leading consumer magazine titles. The strength of the business is reflected in its diverse asset mix including traditional magazine publishing, online and digital media, multiple consumer and trade events, merchandising as well as domestic and international product licensing. All nine consumer magazines are household names led by market leaders, including: Creating Keepsakes in scrapbooking, Paper Crafts in paper crafting and card making, Quilter’s Newsletter and McCall’s Quilting in quilting and Sew News in sewing. The company’s numerous consumer events (marketed under Creating Keepsakes University and Creating Keepsakes Convention brand names) and its Memory Trends trade show are among the premier retail and trade events in the scrapbooking market.
“As investors, we are constantly looking for high-quality businesses that can benefit from our industry expertise and financial resources,” explained Michael Marocco, Managing Director and head of private equity for Sandler Capital. “Based on the Crafts Group’s market leadership across scrapbooking, quilting and sewing, we believe Enthusiast Media LLC presents an excellent opportunity for value creation.”
Marocco further noted that Dave O’Neil, formerly Vice President/Group Publisher for PRIMEDIA Crafts Group, will serve as CEO, while Lisa Bearnson, Founding Editor of Creating Keepsakes magazine and a leading spokesperson for the scrapbooking industry, will serve as Creative Director.
Sandler Capital Managing Director Adi Dehejia added, “We are pleased to partner with Dave O’Neil, Lisa Bearnson and the rest of the Enthusiast Media management team to take the company to the next level of success. We believe there are numerous opportunities to grow these market-leading crafts brands, especially in the digital media and online sectors.”
O’Neil noted that the vision of Enthusiast Media LLC is to think deeper, not wider. “As the leading information content provider in the craft hobby space, we have a core audience that looks to us to connect them with the latest trends and techniques in their craft niche. The acquisition by Sandler Capital will allow us to be more nimble in creating and responding to market opportunities.”
Adding to its market leadership, Enthusiast Media also boasts several leading craft celebrities, particularly in scrapbooking and paper crafts. Opportunities to leverage these celebrities in building broadcast programming, new online and on-location events as well as print and digital titles, will simply grow these categories, noted Bearnson.
“I'm excited to take a larger, more creative role with this new company,” said Bearnson. “My goal is to build a grassroots company like the one I originally founded (Creating Keepsakes magazine) where we will be highly responsive to the needs of our readers, manufacturers and advertisers. Our team has exciting plans that include taking scrapbooking to a new level in both the digital and tactile worlds."
Enthusiast Media LLC adds to Sandler Capital’s recent investments in the publishing industry, which include Discover Media, HarborPoint Media and Penton Media.
About Sandler Capital Management
Sandler Capital Management has managed both hedge funds and private equity funds since 1980 and 1989, respectively. The firm has $1.3 billion in combined assets under management and uninvested commitments. Sandler's private equity effort focuses on three core industry sectors: media, communications, and entertainment. Sandler's investment professionals have over 200 years of combined experience as research analysts, portfolio managers, financial advisors, investment bankers, and private equity investors. For more information please visit, www.sandlercap.com.
PRIMEDIA is the leading targeted media company in the United States. With 2005 revenue of $990 million, its properties comprise over 100 brands that connect buyers and sellers through print publications, Internet, events, merchandise and video programs in three market segments:
· Enthusiast Media is the #1 special interest magazine publisher in the U.S. with approximately 90 publications, 100 leading websites, 90 events, 11 TV programs, 600 branded products, and has such well-known brands as Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive.com, Equine.com, In-Fisherman, Power & Motoryacht, Hot Rod, Snowboarder, Stereophile, Surfer, and Wavewatch.com.
· Consumer Guides is the #1 publisher and distributor of free consumer guides in the U.S. with Apartment Guide, Auto Guide and New Home Guide, distributing free consumer publications through its proprietary distribution network, DistribuTech, in more than 50,000 locations. The Group owns and operates leading websites including ApartmentGuide.com, AutoGuide.com, NewHomeGuide.com and RentClicks.
· Education includes Channel One, a proprietary network to secondary schools, Films Media Group, a leading source of educational video, and PRIMEDIA Healthcare, a continuing medical education business.