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'Variety' owner Penske Media to acquire Fairchild Fashion

Clothing and Textiles Industry
Jay Penske's media company to acquire Fairchild Fashion publications, including Women's Wear Daily

Jay Penske's media company is buying Fairchild Fashion Media, the owner of such fashion industry publications as Women's Wear Daily, Footwear News and Beauty Inc.

Conde Nast, which currently owns Fairchild Fashion Media, said Tuesday that it wanted to sell its U.S.-based fashion trade brands to better focus on its flagship properties, including Vanity Fair, Vogue, and the New Yorker.

The purchase price was not disclosed, although several publications pegged it at just under $100 million.

Penske, son of auto mogul Roger Penske, formed his media company, Penske Media, more than a decade ago. He made a splash in Hollywood in 2009 when he acquired the juggernaut insider news blog Deadline.com from its founder, Nikki Finke.

Then, nearly two years ago, Penske significantly expanded his empire by buying the granddaddy of Hollywood trades -- Variety -- for about $25 million. 

Last year, Penske Media Corp. folded the print edition, Daily Variety, to focus on a weekly magazine. Breaking news appears online on Variety.com.

Penske Media owns other websites, including Hollywood Life, TVLine and AwardsLine. Hollywood Life, which revels in celebrity fashion, is managed by Bonnie Fuller, former editor of Us Weekly, Glamour and Cosmopolitan. Hollywood Life might represent the greatest cross-over opportunities with the Fairchild Fashion trade magazines.

Penske Media, which is based in Los Angeles, is backed by the hedge fund Third Point.

Penske's deal to acquire Fairchild Fashion is expected to close next month.

"This is a unique and remarkable opportunity to add a collection of esteemed global brands to our growing portfolio," Jay Penske, chairman and chief executive of Penske Media, said in a statement.

Twitter: @MegJamesLAT

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

5:16 p.m. This post was updated to add more information about Hollywood Life.

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