June 27, 2005--Following a month-long bidding process, Joe Mansueto, chairman and chief executive of investment research firm Morningstar, has agreed to acquire Inc. and Fast Company magazines from Gruner + Jahr Publishing, the company said in a press release Sunday.
G+J USA Publishing Company has concluded an agreement today to sell selected assets and liabilities of its Inc. and Fast Company magazines to a newly formed publishing entity controlled by Joe Mansueto. The acquisition is projected to close by the end of the month subject to Justice Department approval.
This transaction is coordinated with the sale of the other G+J USA titles to the Meredith Corporation in a deal announced previously but expected to close about the same time. G+J USA employees currently working at the Inc. and Fast Company business titles -- or in corporate departments directly with the business titles -- will be part of the newly formed entity.
Mr. Mansueto is also the principal owner of Morningstar Inc. and an investor in Time Out Chicago, a cousin of the successful Time Out products in London and New York. G+J USA is an affiliate of Gruner + Jahr AG & CO. KG, the leading European publisher.
"I am delighted to acquire two of the nation's leading business magazines," said Joe Mansueto. "I have long admired both publications. They have everything I look for in a media company: world-class brands, exceptional management, high quality content and loyal readers and advertisers," he continued.
"I am very pleased that we succeeded in finding a good home for our Inc. and Fast Company business titles as well," said Axel Ganz, member of the executive board of G+J AG. "Both magazines will continue to be published in New York after completion of the sale and our readers will continue to benefit from the insightful and informative content these magazines have become so well known for."
Mark Edmiston, managing director of AdMedia Partners, the New York based investment banking firm that advised G+J Publishing on this transaction, said that speed to close was one of the most important factors. "From start to finish this deal took just 29 days, which may be a record for this type of transaction."