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Investor Group Buys Eight Nielsen Brands Including Hollywood Reporter, Billboard

THR.jpgAfter weeks of speculation over the deal, an investor group formed by media private equity partnership Pluribus Capital Management and financial services company Guggenheim Partners just announced that it has purchased eight brands from The Nielsen Co., including the pubs The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Mediaweek, Adweek and Brandweek.

The new company, called e5 Global Media LLC, is said to have paid $70 million for the publications and events, which include the ShoWest and other trade shows. Pluribus was founded by James A. Finkelstein, whose family owns the “Who’s Who” series of books; George Green, the former president of Hearst Magazines International; and Matthew Doull. The New York Post‘s Keith Kelly reported today that another rumored partner in the deal, Rupert’s son Lachlan Murdoch, was replaced by former Bear Stearns chief Alan Schwartz, who runs Guggenheim. Finkelstein will serve as chairman of e5, the company said.

Meanwhile, Nielsen maintains that it will remain committed to its remaining brands. “Divesting these titles allows Nielsen to focus its investment on its core businesses and those parts of our portfolio that have the greatest potential for growth, including our leading trade show group,” Nielsen Business Media president Greg Farrar said.

Full release, after the jump

Billboard buying group changesNew York Post


PLURIBUS CAPITAL AND GUGGENHEIM PARTNERS TO ACQUIRE EIGHT NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA BRANDS, INCLUDING THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, BILLBOARD AND ADWEEK

NEW YORK , December 10, 2009 – e5 Global Media LLC, a new company formed jointly by Pluribus Capital Management, a media private equity partnership, and Guggenheim Partners, a global diversified financial services firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire eight brands from The Nielsen Company, including such iconic assets as The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard. Management of the acquired brands and their staff members will begin to transition immediately. The acquisition, which is subject to normal terms and conditions, is scheduled to close by December 31, 2009.
In addition to The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, the other brands included in the sale by Nielsen Business Media are: Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, The Clio Awards, Back Stage and Film Journal International. e5 Global Media will also acquire the Film Expo business, which includes the ShoWest, ShowEast, Cinema Expo International and CineAsia trade shows.

Pluribus Capital was founded in 2009 by James A. Finkelstein, George Green and Matthew Doull to focus on acquiring and managing industry leading media properties with high growth potential, particularly those with strong brand recognition across multiple platforms including digital, print and events. Guggenheim Partners is a privately held, diversified financial services firm with more than $100 billion in assets under supervision. Both Pluribus and Guggenheim have strong and demonstrated track records of successfully managing investments in a variety of companies.

Jimmy Finkelstein of Pluribus Capital, who will become Chairman of e5 Global Media, and Todd Boehly, Managing Partner in the Office of the CEO at Guggenheim Partners, commented, “We are all excited to acquire such a premier collection of media properties. These are unique brands that are already leaders in their respective fields and, with the additional financial and strategic resources that we will provide, they will be positioned to add enhanced content across their print, online and new media channels and to continue to deliver value to their subscribers and advertisers. We look forward to working with the talented editors, journalists, and employees to further build on and expand these strong platforms while supporting their continued success.”

Nielsen said it remains committed to its leading trade show group and affiliated brands. It will continue to assess the strategic fit of other publications.

“Nielsen is committed to managing its portfolio of businesses in a way that maximizes their long-term value,” said Greg Farrar, President of Nielsen Business Media. “Divesting these titles allows Nielsen to focus its investment on its core businesses and those parts of our portfolio that have the greatest potential for growth, including our leading trade show group.”

At the conclusion of the transaction, the group’s U.S.-based publications will continue to be located in their current locations at 770 Broadway in New York and at 5055 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.

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