Enquirer Owner to Buy Weider Publications

Bloomberg News

American Media Inc., owner of the National Enquirer and the Star, said Wednesday that it would buy fitness publisher Weider Publications for $350 million to expand into consumer magazines.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based American Media, which has pursued Weider since September, would gain seven magazines, including Shape, Flex and Men's Fitness. The transaction, expected to close in the first quarter, would add immediately to American Media's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Annual revenue would grow to $550 million from $375 million, the firm said.

Closely held Weider, based in Woodland Hills, was founded more than 60 years ago by bodybuilder Joe Weider.

The purchase doesn't include Weider Nutrition International Inc., a vitamin and nutritional supplement business that is publicly traded.

American Media is building a consumer magazine division as circulation declines at its tabloids. The company reported this month that tabloid sales fell 4% in the second quarter.

Higher prices and more advertising have helped newsstand sales, the company said.

"The good thing is they have been able to raise prices and people are still buying," said Matthew Cox, an analyst for KDP Investment Advisors Inc. "But there's not a lot of growth potential there."

From Bloomberg News

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