Media Moves

25 years ago: Advance buys American City Business Journals

August 16, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Emon Reiser of the South Florida Business Journal writes about when Advance Publications acquired American City Business Journals for more than $250 million 25 years ago.

Reiser writes, “This week in 1995, Advance Publications agreed to acquire American City Business Journals in a deal that would place the Charlotte, North Carolina-based business media company’s then 28 weekly newspapers under the same umbrella as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Architectural Digest.

“The Shaw family, including Ray Shaw, who was chairman of ACBJ at the time of the agreement, was expected to retain 43.84% ownership once the deal closed in October later that year, according to reporting from the Business Journal. ACBJ’s stock on the Nasdaq, trading under the symbol AMBJ, climbed on news of the deal. Advance agreed to purchase ACBJ for $28 per share, or $258.8 million.

“‘Advance’s acquisition of American City will be extremely positive to our shareholders, to our employees and to the future of our individual properties,’ Shaw said at the time. ‘I expect American City to flourish even more in the years ahead because our markets are strong and growing.’

“Ray Shaw died in 2009, but the Shaws would expand ACBJ to 44 business publications across the country reaching more than 3.6 million readers weekly.”

Read more here.

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