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Primedia Enthusiast Publications Find Lifeboat

(For previous information on this topic, see the previous Inside Scrapbooking story “Passengers on a Sinking Ship?“)

From Craftrends News Digest (a subsidiary of Primedia and a member of the asset group involved in the announcement):

On June 9, 2006, Primedia entered into an agreement to sell substantially all of the assets of its Crafts Group to Enthusiast Media LLC, an entity controlled by affiliates of Sandler Capital Management, in an all-cash transaction valued at $132 million, subject to audit adjustments. This divestiture is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2006.

The sale includes 10 magazines and their affiliated events, including the MemoryTrends Conference & Expo, Creating Keepsakes Universities, and Creating Keepsakes Conventions. The magazines are Craftrends, Creating Keepsakes, Simple Scrapbooks, Paper Crafts, McCall’s Quilting, McCall’s Quick Quilts, Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, Quiltmaker, Sew News, and Creative Machine Embroidery.

The company will operate as a stand-alone LLC under the temporary name of Enthusiast Media. A new name and logo will be introduced following completion of the sale.

The Crafts Group employs 137 people in offices in Golden, Colorado, and Bluffdale, Utah.

Sandler is headquartered in New York and is a registered investment advisor that manages both hedge funds and private quity funds with a multi-sector focus in media, entertainment/leisure, telecommunications, technology, information and business services, and consumer companies. For more information, go to www.sandlercap.com.

What this means for the scrapbook publications and their associated ventures of course remains to be seen. Creating Keepsakes personality Ali Edwards has described the sale as “good” in a public message board posting today, which is encouraging to fans and associates of the publications, and hopefully we will soon hear more information on the future of these operations.

This is not Sandler Capital’s first foray into publishing investment. Last year they financed (along with WS Capital) Bob Guccione, Jr’s acquisition of the science magazine Discover from Disney Publishing.

Inside Scrapbooking will provide further updates on the status of this transaction and it’s meaning for the industry when they are available.


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