Wasserstein Acquires Penton for $530 Million and will merge it with Prism

PentonPenton Media, the once troubled trade publisher, has been sold to Wasserstein & Co., and will be merged with Prism Business Media, creating a new b-to-b giant, with revenue nearing $500 million.

The sale price was put at $194.2 million, plus assumption and payment of debt, putting the total value of the deal at $530 million, according to a statement from Penton released this morning.

The deal must be approved by Penton stockholders, and if approved, is expected to close in the first half of 2007. Penton shares, which have languished under $1 for years, increased slightly to $0.77 as of mid-morning.

“This transaction delivers outstanding value for all of Penton’s stockholders,” David Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer of Penton, said in a statement. “The combination of Penton and Prism will create a company with the capital structure, talent, and infrastructure to continue on a very strong growth path.”

The deal, if viewed by the total price, represents the largest M&A deal in b-to-b media since the $650 million acquisition of Hanley Wood by JP Morgan in May 2005.

It also establishes Wasserstein as one of the top three or four players in b-to-b media in terms of revenue. Wasserstein, together with its private-equity partners, also owns ALM and The Deal.

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