Shamrock Capital Sees 5X Money On Luxury Magazine Co. Sale Dow Jones LBO Wire
By Rimin Dutt
Shamrock Capital has sold magazine platform Modern Luxury Media LLC, publisher of luxury lifestyle magazine titles such as Angeleno and Riviera, to media buyout firm Clarity Partners.
The purchase price was about $250 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Los Angeles-based Clarity Partners will have a controlling stake in Modern Luxury. The deal also includes a co-investment from Lehman Brothers. Credit Suisse and NewStar Financial provided debt financing.
Modern Luxury publishes 25 titles in markets including Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco, covering topics such as fashion, dining, culture, home design, travel and society events.
Los Angeles-based Shamrock, a media-focused fund founded by longtime Walt Disney Co. executive Roy E. Disney, bought Modern Luxury in 2004 for about $50 million. The company grew aggressively after that deal, expanding from three markets to ten, and nearly quadrupling revenue to about $70 million currently, said Steve Royer, a managing director with Shamrock.
Most of the growth has come from launching new titles and one add-on acquisition. The magazines currently have a total circulation of about 645,000 monthly, with 3.5 million readers.
Modern Luxury's niche audience of wealthy people insulates it from the larger negative trends surrounding the print media industry, said Royer.
These magazines' "controlled circulation" among affluent readers provides luxury goods advertisers an effective way to reach their targeted clientele, said Royer.
Buyer Clarity Partners plans a combination of organic and acquisitive growth for the company, said a person close to the firm. Modern Luxury's management team, which is led by Michael Kong, Stephen Kong and John Carroll, will continue.
Clarity is currently raising its second fund, Clarity Partners II LP, with a $750 million target, LBO Wire previously reported.
Clarity has invested in the media industry extensively, buying stakes in such companies as ImpreMedia, a publisher of Spanish language newspapers; Oxygen Media, a cable programming network targeting women; and Crescent Entertainment/Village Roadshow Pictures.
Reach Clarity Partners at 310-432-0100; Shamrock Capital at 818-845-4444.