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Hearst agrees to buy Rodale

Published October 18, 2017
Media giant acquires the owner of Bicycling, Runner's World, Men's Health and other titles.

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Hearst has agreed to acquire the magazine and book businesses of Rodale, the parent of Bicycling magazine and 92 other titles.

Hearst president and CEO Steven R. Swartz, Rodale's CEO, Maria Rodale and Hearst Magazine's president, David Carey, made the announcement Wednesday. The transaction is expected to close in early 2018 after government approvals. Terms were not disclosed. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the price was less than $225 million. Both companies are privately held.

Rodale publishes 93 titles in 64 countries, including Men's Health, Women's Health, Prevention, Rodale's Organic Life, Runner's World and Bicycling. The company's book division has published Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's "Onward" and Dave Asprey's "The Bulletproof Diet." 

Upon completion of the acquisition, Rodale's multi-platform content business will be managed by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst with more than 300 editions and websites around the world, including 20 titles in the U.S.

Carey said, "Maria Rodale has grown her family's business into a peerless authority that reaches an enormous audience. Hearst and Rodale are already publishing partners around the world, including the U.K., the Netherlands and Japan, and we've seen first-hand how the content resonates. We are pleased to add them and all of Rodale's brands to our vibrant and varied global portfolio, providing readers with dependable information and offering marketers unbeatable scale and a trustworthy environment in the increasingly important health and wellness space."

Maria Rodale said, "We have a long-standing respect for Hearst's commitment to connecting consumers with imaginative, engaging content across an ever-diversifying choice of platforms, technologies and experiences around the world. We believe our exceptional brands, businesses and employees will thrive in this culture of innovation and we are confident that Hearst's stewardship will continue to grow the passionate and purpose-driven communities that Rodale has built over the past 70 years."

Hearst's major interests include ownership in cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; majority ownership of global ratings agency Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; 30 television stations such as WCVB-TV in Boston and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, Calif.; newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Albany Times Union, nearly 300 magazines around the world including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR and Car and Driver; digital services businesses such as iCrossing and KUBRA; and investments in emerging digital and video companies such as BuzzFeed, Vice, Complex Networks and AwesomenessTV. 

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