B$Z: Active Interest Media Acquiring Bonnier Mountain Group Properties
May 2, 2013
Active Interest Media Acquiring Bonnier Mountain Group Properties
Press Release from Active Interest Media
Boulder, CO — Active Interest Media (AIM) today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire the properties of the Bonnier Mountain Group, including SKI, Skiing, Warren Miller Entertainment and NASTAR. The agreement, expected to close on May 31, returns AIM’s management team, CEO Efrem (Skip) Zimbalist, Andy Clurman, President and COO, and Brian Sellstrom, CFO, to oversight of the properties they successfully led from 1996-2003, when they were known as Mountain Sports Media. During that time, the team moved the group from New York City to Boulder, Colo., acquired Warren Miller Entertainment, expanded the quality, scope and reach of the properties, and grew the company by 50 percent.
“We are thrilled to be back full-time in snowsports,” says Clurman. “We understand this business, we are passionate about the sport and these premier brands, and we have plan to integrate and improve the products while dramatically expanding the audience.” The Mountain Group properties will become part of AIM’s Outdoor Group, which is led by AIM SVP Jonathan Dorn and includes Backpacker, Climbing, National Park Trips and SNEWS. The acquisition of the Mountain Group properties will effectively double the size of AIM’s Outdoor division.
“I am very happy to have found the right buyer for the Mountain Group, one that will be able to cultivate these specialized snow titles and properties, says Dave Freygang, CEO of Bonnier Corp. “This sale strategically allows us to concentrate our focus and shift resources to our businesses in California, New York and Florida.”
The purchase will also reunite AIM’s leadership team with Andy Bigford, who will serve as Vice-President and General Manager of the ski group. Bigford was hired by Bonnier as Group Publisher of the Mountain Group in January 2013, and joins AIM along with Allen Crolius, the former longtime Mountain Sports Media Associate Publisher, who has been named by AIM as Vice President of Sales for the Mountain Group and Outdoor Group.
“I look forward to working successfully again with Bigford, who led our AIM ski custom publishing projects before returning to the Mountain Group,” says Clurman, “and we are excited to bring back Allen, who broadened his publishing experience since leaving the ski titles with senior executive roles at TransWorld Media, Powder and in the outdoor business.”
The Boulder-based Outdoor Group is less than a mile from the Mountain Group offices and will be co-locating in the near future.
About Active Interest Media, Inc.:
Active Interest Media, Inc. (AIM, www.aimmedia.com) is a leading publisher of enthusiast consumer shows and publications across all media platforms. AIM’s titles include Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Vegetarian Times, Yachts International, SAIL, Power & Motoryacht, Black Belt, American Cowboy, Practical Horseman Log Home Living, Old House Journal and many more. The company’s five publishing groups–the Equine Network, the Home Buyer Group, the Healthy Living Group, the Marine Group, and the Outdoor Group–reach more than 10 million readers in 85 countries around the world.
AIM was formed by Wind Point Partners, a private equity investment firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Southfield, Michigan, in partnership with CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, in October 2003.
About Wind Point Partners:
Wind Point Partners (www.wppartners.com), located in Chicago, IL, is a private equity investment firm with over $2.8 billion in commitments. Wind Point’s strategy is to team with top caliber CEOs to acquire solid middle market businesses with a clear path to value creation. Wind Point has an excellent track record of success, and has invested in more than 90 companies and 160 add-on acquisitions since 1984.
About Bonnier Corp:
Bonnier Corp. (www.bonniercorp.com) is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in the U.S. and is the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences, through magazines, events, digital media and leading-edge products. Bonnier Corp. is the U.S. division of the Bonnier Group (www.bonnier.com), an international media group active in television, newspapers, magazines, movies, books and digital media.