Meredith Corp. said yesterday that it reached an agreement in principle to acquire consumer magazine titles Parents, Child, Fitness and Family Circle from Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing for $350 million.
The deal is contingent on the completion of due diligence, execution of definitive agreements and certain closing conditions. Definitive agreements will be signed in early June and a June 30 closing date has been targeted, according to Meredith, which is based in Des Moines, IA, and New York.
Under terms of the transaction, before June 30 G + J has the option to sell the assets of business publications Inc. and Fast Company to Meredith as well. If acquired as part of the deal, Meredith said it would sell these publications through a private sale or auction.
The acquisition of the consumer titles would fit with Meredith's previously stated corporate strategy of building its readership of younger women.
Parents magazine is a monthly publication with a rate base of 2.2 million and a readership of 14 million. The three special interest magazines published under the Parents Media Group banner are Spanish-language title Ser Padres, Parents Expecting and Parents Baby.
Child is published 10 times annually and has a rate base of 1 million and a readership of 4.9 million.
Fitness is published 12 times annually and has a rate base of 1.5 million and a readership of 5.4 million.
Family Circle is published 15 times annually with a rate base of 4.2 million and a readership of 20.5 million.
Meredith acquired the American Baby Group from Primedia Inc. in December 2002. The $115 million purchase included the American Baby title as well as Childbirth and First Year of Life magazines; Hispanic titles Espera, Primeros 12 Meses and Healthy Kids en Espanol; Web sites americanbaby.com and healthykids.com; television programs American Baby and Healthy Kids; Baby Faire expos and product shows; sampling programs; and custom publications.
Other magazine titles published by Meredith include Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, More, Country Home, Traditional Home and Midwest Living.
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