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Austin Ventures and Another PE Firm Buying Entrepreneur Media

imageEntrepreneur Media, the Irvine, CA-based media company which focuses on small-business owners, is being bought by two private equity firms, and Austin Ventures is the lead, has learned. The sale price is going to be less than $200 million, in the lower range of what it was expecting….the company did about $60 million revenues last year. The final due diligence is going on, and the deal is expected to close by late July, our sources says. Folio reported yesterday that a Boston PE firm part was the buyer, and didn’t get the name, but we have learned that the Boston firm is the minority partner in the deal, and not the lead.

We reported first on the sale process in April, and since then, the strategics, including Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS), USA Today and R. H. Donnelly have been weeded out in the bidding. This deal for Entrepreneur comes at a good time, with some turmoil in the company ranks during recent months. I mentioned some of the issues and controversies in the previous post. The company in recent months has seen some senior editorial and executive staff leave: just yesterday Folio reported that after the editor’s departure, the two exec editors have also left. It appointed a new EIC two days ago.

The company was founded as a newsletter in 1973 and launched as Entrepreneur magazine in 1977. It also has a biggish online presence and operates book publishing unit Entrepreneur Press. was launched in 1996, and has been popular and very profitable, a big part of the appeal to the buyers, our sources say.

Not clear with this deal: Austin Ventures has developed a few EIR-led vehicles for B2B rollup…not sure which group this would fall under.

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