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Acquisitions

Robb Report Acquisition is Good News for Detroit

RockbridgeGrowthEquityLogoBesides the odd billionaire, executive and successful actor, one of the other things linking Malibu to Detroit is of course cars. Vanity Fair recently chronicled the joy Robert Downey Jr. derives from tooling up and down the PCH in a Corvette, he being one of a number of such owner-examples.

Today, thanks to some news involving Malibu luxury publication Robb Report, there will soon be some reverse Malibu/Motor City synergy. As a result of the magazine’s acquisition by private equity firm Rockbridge Growth Equity, a Robb Report office will open in downtown Detroit sometime next year. At a price-per-metropolitan-square-foot we imagine will still be about as low as can be found. From today’s announcement:

“It is always thrilling to provide the needed capital and support to a motivated and smart leadership team who sit at the center of an internationally growing space that is primed for innovation and creativity,” said Rockbridge managing partner Brian Hermelin. “We believe Rockbridge and its family of companies’ operational expertise and infrastructure, particularly in the areas of marketing and technology, will help leverage the opportunity for Robb Report to grow at an accelerated pace.”

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Jay Z’s Life Just Keeps Getting Better [Updated]

It’s good to be Jay Z.

In 2006, he featured French champagne brand Armand de Brignac, alongside Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr., in the music video “Show Me What You Got.” This week*, he concluded a deal to buy a stake in the company from New York’s Sovereign Brands. From the New York Times report:

Yvonne Lardner, a spokeswoman for Sovereign Brands, said the company has had a “wonderful relationship” with Jay Z. “He became interested in owning the brand and made us an offer we simply couldn’t refuse,” she said.

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Evolve Media Acquires AfterEllen.com

AfterEllenLogoEvolve Media, owners and operators of Crave Online, have made a major addition to their content publishing business. For an undisclosed sum, the company has acquired pioneering lesbian lifestyle and community site AfterEllen.com from Viacom.

“We’re bringing over the entire staff [except for EIC Karman Kregloe],” Evolve Media president and co-founder Brian Fitzgerald tells FishbowlNY via telephone. “There are two to three full-time employees and, as our publishing business goes these days, an army of perma-lancers.”

“One thing the AfterEllen staff is excited about is that a major piece of the Evolve Media operation is in Los Angeles, and the head editor – Trish Bendix (pictured, below) – is based in LA.” he continues. “We want her to come into the office, not full-time, but to be able to take advantage of the team of people we have that can help to be a resource to grow the audience.”

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News Corp. Buys Online Realty Business

newscorp-1News Corp. has purchased Move, Inc., an online real estate business. Move owns and operates Realtor.com, Move.com and ListHub. Through those sites, the company “displays more than 98 percent of all for-sale properties listed in the US,” according to a release.

“This acquisition will accelerate News Corp’s digital and global expansion and contribute to the transformation of our company, making online real estate a powerful pillar of our portfolio,” said Robert Thomson, News Corp’s CEO, in a statement. “We intend to use our media platforms and compelling content to turbo-charge traffic growth and create the most successful real estate website in the US.”

As part of the deal, News Corp will buy Move’s outstanding shares for $21 a pop, or roughly $950 million.

Wall Street Journal Publisher Jumps to Merged Paywall Firm

PianoMediaLogoFrom a media personnel perspective, the most intriguing aspect of Slovakian startup Piano Media’s acquisition of much larger U.S. paywall services firm Press+ is the individual they’ve snared to run the merged entity. Poynter’s Rick Edmonds spoke to Kelly Leach, formerly the publisher of the Wall Stret Journal‘s European edition, to ask why she decided to make this somewhat unorthodox career move:

“I really believe in the paid digital model, and I did when not very many others did…” she said. “It’s an area I’m passionate about. We have seen this wave working its way around the world and at the same time we are realizing that digital ads alone won’t carry the day.”

Leach worked with [Press+ co-founder Gordon] Crovitz in the early 2000s, when he was Wall Street Journal publisher, and the Journal was among the first to introduce digital subscriptions. (Closing the Dow-Jones loop, she was recruited for the job by [Piano Media communications director] David Brauchli’s brother, Marcus, a former editor of the Journal and later the Washington Post).

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Penske to Acquire Fairchild Fashion Media

FFMLogoCondé Nast wouldn’t comment. But according to New York Times media reporter Ravi Somaiya, Jay Penske is about to add an impressive group of media properties to his PMC empire.

From Somaiya’s report:

Condé Nast plans to sell Fairchild Fashion Media, the group behind trade publications like Women’s Wear Daily and Footwear News, to Penske Media for around $100 million, according to a person familiar who has been briefed on the deal.

Fairchild’s employees will go with the new company, the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal an as-yet unannounced deal, said.

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CBS Outdoor Buys Van Wagner’s Billboards

CBSOutdoorLogoSo how much is one of those big advertising billboards worth in the open market? Well, if you do the math – dividing the $690 million paid by CBS Outdoor for 1,100 Van Wagner billboards – it works out to a little over $672,000.*

Per AP, the deal is subject to regulatory approval and won’t take effect until 2015. The transaction involves prime impression-real-estate from coast to coast:

About 600 of the billboards are in Los Angeles and 294 are in New York. The rest are in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington.

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RumorFix Needs a Press Release Fix

HutchMediaLogoWe’re as happy as the next media blog when a legitimate Web operation like RumorFix kicks off a spring month with exciting, acquisition news. However, the folks that wrote up today’s announcement may want to review the following sentence:

As the fastest growing entertainment website in America, RumorFix is also known for exclusive and verified scoop [sic] about the Real Housewives franchises, The Bachelor and other popular reality shows.

The fastest growing entertainment website in America? Really? Even if RumorFix had done the gargantuan comScore and Quantcast heavy lifting to back up such a claim, we’re guessing TMZ, Hulu and Netflix – among others – might still have something to say about this.

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Thanks to George Stephanopoulos, Museum Enlarges Permanent Collection by 3200%

GeorgeStephanopoulosPicWe’re a little late to this one, but still thought it was worth sharing.

Per The Post-Star reporter Bill Toscano, The Hyde Collection and Historic House in Glen Falls, NY until recently had four photos in its snapshots collection. Moving forward, that total has grown to 132, all thanks to a very generous donation by George Stephanopoulos:

“We have been hopeful of making additions to our photography holdings, but did not imagine that such a significant group of work might come into the collection at one time,” Hyde Collection director Charles Guerin said. “The great breadth of photography history, as well as the variety of national origins represented by this generous gift by Mr. Stephanopoulos, makes this a truly exciting and important moment for the growth of our permanent collection.”

When asked about his gift to The Hyde, Stephanopoulos said in a statement: “Our whole family is thrilled that this collection has found the perfect home. Knowing these images will be seen and valued makes us very happy.”

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PandoDaily Acquires NSFWCORP

NSFWCorpTestimonialsThis morning, PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy writes that one out of three can sometimes in fact be very good.

In her item about PandoDaily’s agreement to acquire Paul Carr‘s NSFWCORP, she notes that there are still two other ideal partnerships on her radar and that this one is very safe one for NSFW:

We aren’t just getting Paul. I’m equally thrilled to announce that we’re also adding Mark Ames, Brad Jonas, Yasha Levine and David Sirota as full-time staffers. NSFWCORP contributors like John Dolan and Dayvid Figler will be making regular appearances too, and Katherine Dolan will continue to work her copy editing magic behind the scenes.

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