Mergers & Acquisitions

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:40 pm

Reiman’s parent company to be acquired by investment group

The beleaguered Reader’s Digest Association Inc., which acquired Reiman Publications LLC in Greendale in 2002, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC of New York for $2.4 billion, including the assumption of substantial debt.

Reader’s Digest Association lost $117 million in fiscal 2006 after losing $91 million in fiscal 2005. The company’s losses continued to steepen in the first quarter of fiscal 2007, as it lost $30 million.

Those financial woes stand in sharp contrast from the profitable organization and brand the Reiman family had built in iconic downtown Greendale.

Reiman Media Group, including magazines Backyard Living, Birds & Blooms, Cooking for 2, Country, Country Woman, Farm & Ranch Living, Light & Tasty, simple and delicious, Reminisce and Taste of Home, the largest-circulation U.S. food magazine, as well as books, cooking schools, country tours and other enterprises;

The investor group that has agreed to acquire the troubled publisher of Reader’s Digest includes the J. Rothschild Group, GoldenTree Asset Management, GSO Capital Partners, Merrill Lynch Capital Corp. and Magnetar Capital.

The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2007.

Ellen Morgenstern, spokesman for Reader’s Digest Association, told SBT that the company currently has no plans to change the Reiman operations, which include 400 employees in Greendale.

Airgas Inc. acquires Wisconsin plants

Airgas Inc. announced a definitive agreement to acquire the U.S. bulk gas business that Linde AG is required to divest, including air separation units in Waukesha and Madison.

Linde AG is required by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to divest some of its assets after it acquired The BOC Group in September. In total, Airgas will acquire Linde AG air separation unit plants scattered throughout the nation.

In total, Airgas has agreed to acquire eight air separation units (ASUs) and the related bulk gas business for $495 million in cash.

The acquired bulk business will include sales of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon produced at the plants, as well as helium, hydrogen and carbon dioxide bulk sales to the plants’ customers. The acquisition will include delivery vehicles, bulk tanks, and related infrastructure, as well as sales, operations, and engineering staff who support the business.

Airgas will manage the acquired plants as part of a new business unit, Airgas Merchant Gases, which will centrally manage production, sourcing, applications support and logistics, working closely with bulk gas sales specialists within the Airgas regional companies.

“This transaction will be positive for our associates, our customers, and our shareholders. It comes at a time when Airgas continues to see strong organic growth and good internal momentum,” said Peter McCausland, chairman and chief executive officer of Radnor, Pa.-based Airgas. “The addition of these bulk gas production operations will enhance our ability to support future growth.”

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