It is an exciting prospect for IDG Communications CEO Michael Friedenberg, who said the deal supports the late IDG founder Patrick McGovern’s wishes for the company.
“When Pat McGovern passed away three years ago, his wishes were to find a great home for IDG and also do what is right for the McGovern Foundation, and I think what the IDG board has done is fulfill his wishes where we have two great owners that really respect our culture, and editorial integrity, and are going to provide us the financial backing that we need to have to accelerate our growth plan,” Friedenberg said, adding that net proceeds from the sale will go to the newly-created McGovern Foundation.
China Oceanwide, a privately-owned international conglomerate, chose IDG as a “natural extension” of its current portfolio. “IDG’s strong global brand and profile make for an attractive strategic investment for us,” said China Oceanwide Chairman Zhiqiang Lu in a release.
“IDG chose them because they’re now giving us the financial wherewithal to accelerate our growth strategy,” Michael Friedenberg said. “It really is a win-win proposition for everybody involved.”
The deal comes after a little over a year after IDG publicly announced it was pursuing strategic process. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. The terms of the deal are confidential and are not being disclosed.
The acquisition won’t change day-to-day at IDG Communications’ brands, including CIO, Computerworld, PCWorld and Macworld, among others. “Nothing changes from the day to day operations,” Friedenberg said.
“We’ve been saying a lot that it is business as usual but it is actually better than usual because now we have two new owners that really are going to provide us additional funding and commercial support and leadership to accelerate our growth and expansion… and if anything we’re bound to operate that much faster.”
Friedenberg said IDG’s growth strategy for the past few years has been to focus on media, data, and services. With the China Oceanwide and IDG Capital deal, “not only are we going to grow that strategy organically, but also acquisitions are going to come into our vernacular,” he said.
“I think we’re going to have a lot more exciting news coming up,” Friedenberg said. “IDG is always innovating, so, I think there is always something down the pipe that will launch across our growth categories. We’ll definitely share the news when we’re able to talk about it.”
Proceeds from the recent sale will go to the McGovern Foundation, a new foundation which will support neuroscience and IT. “Its whole mission is to support neuroscience and technology for the benefit of humanity,” Friedenberg said. “Now we’re able to fulfill Pat’s wishes of finding a really nice home for IDG and its employees, and also fund the McGovern Foundation.”
IDG is a member of FIPP.
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