Friday, November 30, 2018

Hedge Funds Buys Newsstand Giant

Chatham apparently controls American
Media, publisher of the National Enquirer
Yesterday's announcement from the owner of the country's largest magazine wholesaler seems to have flown beneath the radar, but it could have major implications for the U.S. magazine industry. 

That's why we're publishing the news release word for word, which rarely happens at Dead Tree Edition.

We'll leave the analysis for others, except for a bit of background information:
  • The News Group (TNG) is the wholesaler for the vast majority of magazine copies sold at retail in the U.S.
  • Note that JPG will retain the part of TNG that merchandises magazines. (Wholesalers, rather than the stores themselves, are usually responsible for replacing old issues with new issues and deciding how they will be displayed.) That makes sense because JPG's massive distribution business delivers a variety of other products to grocery stores and other retailers. 
  • Comag, which started as a Hearst-Conde Nast co-venture, is one of the nation's largest national wholesalers of magazines. National wholesalers represent publishers in dealings with wholesalers and retailers, managing copy placement, billing, collections, and other services.
  • Chatham's other media investments have included American Media Inc (AMI) and the McClatchy chain of newspapers. Two Chatham executives serve on the four-member board of AMI, the privately held publisher of National Enquirer and other magazines that has been in hot water lately regarding alleged payments to silence women who had affairs with Donald Trump.

Jim Pattison Group Agrees to Sell U.S. Magazine Distribution Related Assets to American News Company, LLC

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jim Pattison Group (JPG) today announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its United States magazine distribution business (TNG), including their interest in The News Group LP, to American News Company, LLC (ANC). The sale is expected to close by December 31, 2018 at which time executive management, and the approximately 1,500 employees of the acquired businesses, will transition to ANC and continue to oversee the day-to-day operations.

"This transaction allows the publishing community to have a more significant voice in the continued development of its supply chain and efforts to secure more efficient and thereby profitable newsstand results," said JPG President Glen Clark. "The stakeholders most impacted by this business, now have an extraordinary opportunity to be directly involved in a critical aspect of their business and will be well positioned to ensure its consistency, efficiency and sustainability."

The agreement to sell JPG's U.S. magazine business includes its distribution centers, depots, vehicles, systems, retailer contracts, publisher contracts, management personnel and related employees. Additionally, ANC will also acquire JPG's ownership stake and all related assets of Retail Support Services (RSS), Magazine Information Network (MagNet), Comag Marketing Group (CMG) and Genera Solutions. ANC will enter into a long-term merchandising services agreement with TNG Merchandising (which is not part of the acquisition and remains owned by JPG) to ensure that magazines continue to be properly merchandised at retail. TNG Canada's operations (wholesale and RS2 Canada) are also excluded from this transaction and will continue to be owned by JPG and run in the ordinary course.

"We are confident that aligning a leading U.S. magazine wholesaler with our valued newsstand partners will have a significant and positive impact on all our stakeholders," said TNG President David Parry. "Our commitment to the channel, and growth of all involved, will be underscored as we continue to work closely with our vital retail customers, suppliers and employees to ensure a low cost, efficient and long-term sustainable business. TNG will be laser-focused on ensuring a seamless transition for all channel participants."

American News Company, LLC, is a Chatham Asset Management (Chatham) portfolio company. Chatham is a $4 billion hedge fund and a longtime supporter of the media industry.

About JPG Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada, The Jim Pattison Group (JPG) is a diversified group of operating businesses primarily in the United States and Canada that enjoy strong and positive market reputations, with most occupying leadership status within their respective industries. JPG's operating divisions span the automotive, advertising, media, agricultural equipment, food and beverage, entertainment, exporting, financial, real estate and periodical distribution industries. JPG has grown to be Canada's 2nd largest privately held company with over $10.1B in annual sales and more than 45,000 employees world-wide. For more information please visit

About American News Company, LLC American News Company, LLC (ANC) will, upon closing the announced acquisition, be a leading magazine wholesaler in the United States for publishers and retailers. ANC, through its subsidiary Comag Marketing Group LLC, will be a leading provider of national distribution services, including billing and collection and sales and marketing services, for publishers. MagNet and Retail Support Services, both subsidiaries of ANC, will offer licensing of magazine sales information and retail display services, respectively, to publishers and retailers.

SOURCE The Jim Pattison Group
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