A busy conference call for Martha Stewart Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO), following its earnings release, and the announcements pertaining to Emeril and WeddingWire: Not too surprisingly, the company says its 40 percent investment in WeddingWire is a step towards full ownership of the company at some point down the road. As media President Wenda Harris Millard explained, the reason for only buying 40 percent now is to keep the founders engaged. As for the size of the investment, CFO Howard Hochhauser put it in the single (million) range, though the actual number will be available in MSLO’s 10q (we’ll be watching out for that number). In the meantime, the deal will offer MSO expanded ad inventory, and the company sees an opportunity to extend WeddingWire’s basic platform into different verticals across the company.
— As for the Emeril deal, the basic pitch is that the “high margin and asset light” business is a perfect fit with the rest of the company, with significant opportunities to promote the brand across various platforms. With the deal, the star chef has signed a 10-year employment contract with the company. His earnout is based on currently unspecified EBITDA number, which will be filed when the company puts together the closing documents.