EMAP’S B2B DIVISION SOLD: Emap is no more. Despite saying it planned to press on and keep its business-to-business operations, the beleaguered British media group has effectively dissolved itself by selling the B2B arm for 1 billion pounds, or $1.97 billion at current exchange, to Eden Bidco Ltd., a new company created for the takeover by Apax Partners and Guardian Media Group. The move follows the sale earlier this month of Emap’s consumer magazine and radio division to the German publisher H. Bauer for 1.14 billion pounds, or $2.25 billion. The B2B business, which is seen by many as Emap’s most valuable sector, includes the retail trends Web site WGSN, the retail trade publication Drapers and a conference business. “[We] are delighted to announce today a further compelling opportunity for shareholders to crystallize the value of Emap’s B2B business at a 57.5 percent premium to its current underlying market valuation,” said Alun Cathcart, executive chairman of Emap, in a statement Friday. On Monday, Eden Bidco said it had purchased a 19.4 percent stake in Emap, at 931 pence, or $18.40, a share. When Emap revealed it had agreed the sale of its consumer and radio division earlier this month, Cathcart said the company had decided not to sell its trade publications division and to instead remain a “focused B2B business.” However, industry sources indicated the company hadn’t ruled out selling the division at the right price. Eden Bidco said in the statement that, following Emap’s sale of its consumer division to H. Bauer, Apax and Guardian Media Group went back to Emap with “an improved proposal” for its B2B division. The price values the company at 470 pence, or $9.29, a share. Guardian Media owns the Guardian and Observer newspapers in the U.K., regional newspapers in the northwest of England and 13 regional radio stations. It is wholly owned by the London-based based Scott Trust, which the company says allows its newspapers to maintain editorial independence. Apax’s publishing interests include the Trader Media Group, which it co-owns with GMG, and American Lawyer Media. Apax also owns Tommy Hilfiger. — Nina Jones
SHOW ME THE MONEY: “Gossip Girl” fans were treated to a heavy dose of Victoria’s Secret product placement in last week’s Christmas episode, thanks to a deal that was struck during “upfronts” in May. The episode had character Eleanor Waldorf, a fashion designer, telling anyone who would listen that she was designing a line for the brand. Later on in the episode, she had a party featuring girls dressed up in Victoria’s Secret Santa outfits, handing out Victoria’s Secret gift bags. There was even a lipstick Christmas ornament, courtesy of Victoria’s Secret, on the tree, that represented a small fortune’s worth of airtime. And if the can’t-miss-it product promotion somehow didn’t catch viewers’ attention, there were also Victoria’s Secret commercials.
This story first appeared in the December 26, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
While some fans might find Wolford or La Perla more fitting for a show that hails from the Upper East Side and seems to throw a cotillion or masquerade ball every other episode, money talks, and a spokesman for the CW Television Network described the cash behind the deal as “major and significant.” Reportedly, a 30-second ad during “Gossip Girl” is approximately $76,000. Victoria’s Secret also sponsors an ongoing video series that features Eric Daman, the costume designer for the show. The spokesman said the show also has a lucrative partnership with Verizon, which gets a lot of airtime since the characters are all linked through their mobile devices for their daily gossip. — Amy Wicks