Magazine publisher Hearst has agreed to acquire the magazine and book businesses of Emmaus-based Rodale Inc.
Family owned Rodale has a total of about 700 employees, with 450 working at its Emmaus headquarters.
“We do plan to retain a presence in Emmaus,” Paul Luthringer, spokesman for Hearst, said this morning in an email to Lehigh Valley Business.
Neither company disclosed the sale price. However, The Wall Street Journal reported that unnamed sources set the price at about $225 million.
The transaction is expected to be complete in January, and Rodale will continue to operate the business until that time.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Rodale’s multiplatform 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.
Rodale put itself up for sale in June.
While there has been speculation for many weeks that the global publisher would be acquiring Rodale, Hearst made the news official late Wednesday.
“Maria Rodale [Rodale chairwoman] has grown her family’s business into a peerless authority that reaches an enormous audience,” David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, said in a news release. “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 also issued a statement: “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,” she said in the release.
Rodale’s magazine titles include Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Rodale’s Organic Life, Runner’s World and Bicycling.
Rodale Books is known for titles including “The South Beach Diet” and former Vice President Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”