Penske Media Corporation (PMC) is the proud new owner of Art Media Holdings, which includes The Magazine Antiques, Modern Magazine, ArtNews and Art in America. With this acquisition, PMC says it will be the largest employer of art journalists in the world.
Although financial details of the deal were not disclosed, WWD (another Penske-owned publication) reports that the price is said to be between $20 million and $25 million.
“These publications are guideposts to our world’s art history, and our own American culture. I am very confident that Jay Penske and Penske Media are the right owners for their next many decades,” said Art Media former owner and now chairman Peter Brant, whose businesses include Brant Publications and paper mill White Birch Paper. Brant was in recent news for forcing the bankruptcy of Interview magazine, which enabled him to wipe $3.3 million in debts and buy the magazine back for $1.5 million. After this sale, Interview will be his only remaining media property.
Penske Media is “committed to investing in legacy media brands and evolving their strategies for today’s competitive digital media landscape.” With Art Media Holdings, the publisher sees potential to scale through data and subscription offerings, B2B events and digital strategy, according to a statement.
In February, Penske sold a $200 million stake in his company to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Prior to that, the publisher had been on a buying spree, purchasing Fairchild Media (WWD, FN, M and Beauty Inc.) from Condé Nast in 2014; acquiring SheKnows Media and entering a joint venture with Robb Report in 2016; and taking a majority investment in Rolling Stone in 2017.
“This purchase continues PMC’s strategy of investing in businesses with great vertical depth, and we plan to rapidly build upon their editorial foundation while extending their presence across the web, video and international markets,” says Penske.