Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Reader's Digest Being Swallowed Up by Buyer?

PNG VersionImage via WikipediaReader's Digest Association ("RDA") is offering itself for sale, in its entirety or piecemeal, and hopes to fetch $1 billion, according to reports in Folio magazine and The Wall St. Journal.

The Pleasantville, N.Y.-based publisher entered a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2009 (see "TUOL" post 8/17/09), from which it emerged in February 2010. RDA endured a brutal First Quarter in 2011, as revenues sank 21.2 percent to $326 million, Folio reported.

The media company publishes 90 magazines internationally, including Taste of Home, Family Handyman and Every Day With Rachael Ray (a frightening prospect). The Wall St. Journal reports that one of RDA's most prized possessions is Allrecipes.com, for which digital media companies may pony up $100 million to $200 million.  

Reader's Digest, which Lila Bell and DeWitt Wallace founded in 1922, has registered nearly an 8 percent hike in ad pages through August, according to Folio. RDA was acquired for $66 million in 2006.

The intrepid "TUOL" staff's editor will be tracking this story closely as he grew up in a family who subscribed to the uniquely sized Reader's Digest and  has fond childhood memories of the magazine being delivered directly to his father's bathroom door.

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