Internet-fax and cloud-services company J2 Global just acquired tech trade magazine publisher Ziff-Davis for $167 million in cash.
As part of the deal, J2 will take control of sites like PCMag.com, ComputerShopper, ExtremeTech, and Geek.com.
J2 expects that the deal will add to its earnings per share and bring in an additional $60 million in 2013 revenues.
Back in the ’90s, Ziff-Davis was a force to be reckoned with, with a wide range of print titles, Internet investments, and tech conferences. But it took on too much debt, got traded from owner to owner, and sold off its enterprise division to Insight Venture Partners in 2007 and its collection of video-game sites to Hearst in 2009, which in turn sold them to IGN.
Now, J2 has bought the remnants of the once-dominant empire.
FBR Capital’s Daniel Ives, who has a Market Perform rating on J2’s stock, wrote in a note to clients today that the acquisition gives J2 a significant growth opportunity.
… this deal should also give investors more comfort that j2 is focused on expanding its addressable market opportunity outside of its core bread and butter fax segment, a positive in our opinion. We maintain our Market Perform rating.
As of late afternoon, J2’s stock was up 3%, trading at $30.23 per share.
In July, J2 signaled that it might do a deal like this when it issued $250 million in debt “for general corporate purposes, including acquisitions.”
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