Acquisition of Fairchild Fashion Media by Penske Media

2014-08-20
Published : Aug-2014

The owner of Hollywood trade publications Deadline and Variety, Penske Media Corp will buy Women’s Wear Daily and other fashion-industry publications from Condé Nast. According to sources, the sale price is close to $100 million.

Condé Nast’s parent company acquired the Fairchild Fashion Media Group in 1999, from Walt Disney for $650 million.

The sale price of $100 million highlights the struggles facing traditional print publications in the digital-media landscape.

Fairchild Fashion Media Group includes Beauty Inc, M Magazine, Footwear News, Menswear and Fairchild’s events business.

But, Condé Nast is holding on to a high-fashion publication, W magazine which complements Condé Nast’s other fashion properties, such as Glamour and Vogue as well as NowManifest.com and Style.com, the fashion website which provides access to fashion blogs. Gina Sanders, who is the chief executive and president of Fairchild will remain with Advance Media, which is the parent company of Condé Nast.

Penske Media’s chief executive, Jay Penske said that at their core, these are strong brands that just need more investment to flourish. Mr. Penske added that he sees significant growth opportunities for these businesses in data and digital, as well as in extending the events business along with an international expansion of these global brands.

Condé Nast recently offloaded its Lucky shopping magazine, merging it with online retailer BeachMint. However, Condé Nast retained a majority stake in the Lucky Group.

President of Condé Nast, Bob Sauerberg said at the time that the Lucky merger was the first in a coming series of moves intended to remake and reinvent the company.

Empirical Media’s chief executive, Jim Friedlich said that Women’s Wear Daily remains a powerful brand and represents a good opportunity for Penske Media. He added that like any other business-to-business publisher, the challenge for Fairchild will be to bring buyers and sellers together online and to be paid for its data, its news, and its audience.

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