F+W Media Announces Acquisition of Interweave
(July 31, 2012) New York— F+W Media, Inc. Chairman & CEO David Nussbaum announced today the acquisition of Aspire Media LLC, parent company of Interweave (www.Interweave.com), from private equity firms Frontenac Company, Catalyst Investors, Clay Hall, and several members of the Interweave management team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Walter Florence, Frontenac Company Managing Director has joined the F+W Media Board of Directors, concurrent with the acquisition.
Interweave is a leading multiplatform print and digital art and craft enthusiast media company founded in 1975 and acquired by Aspire in 2005. Interweave owns and operates 15 consumer art and craft magazines; more than 30 special newsstand publications; 350 craft books; 33 websites; 10 online communities; 10 e-commerce stores; 11 consumer events; video workshops; and produces 3 PBS craft television programs. “The Interweave strategy mirrors the strategy set in place for each of our vertical communities. To provide an expertly curated portfolio of quality content, products and services, marketed and sold direct to our comprehensive database of core enthusiasts, through our robust e-commerce stores,” said Nussbaum. In 2008 F+W Media established its first direct-to-consumer e-commerce store. Today the Company owns and operates more than 20 e-commerce stores, centered on its enthusiast communities, and will add 10 stores as a result of the acquisition. The Company’s consumer database is now among the largest in the art and craft industry, numbered in the millions.
Clay Hall, Aspire Media’s and Interweave’s CEO for the past 7 years, said, “I’m very proud of this team’s successful transformation of DIY media for the digital age and am confident that F+W will build on their success.” In connection with F+W Media’s acquisition of Interweave, Hall and Troy Wells, the company’s CFO, will both be leaving the company to search for their next business opportunities.
Immediate plans for the Company include: an increased number of digital magazine / content launches through the popular Interweave digital newsstand; an expansion of the e-commerce, ebook, and digital pattern business; and an expansion of the live and online education and event business.
“F+W and Interweave are two like-minded, aligned media entities, with passionate employees who have the honor of serving our vertical enthusiast communities. We share a common mission and vision,” said Sara Domville, President. “And now with our combined strengths, F+W will offer our art and craft customers the most comprehensive information, inspiration, products and services available.” In February 2012, F+W completed the acquisition of The Martha Pullen Company, a leading e-commerce provider, event producer, and content company in the sewing category.
Added Nussbaum, “Interweave properties are leaders in their communities – there is a history of innovation, entrepreneurialism, and proven success. We welcome the many talented and passionate employees to F+W to learn from one another and to be part of our larger, global community.”
According to the Craft and Hobby Association nearly 66 million U.S. households identify a member as a crafter; in total U.S. crafters spend upwards of $30.6 billion annually on supplies. The resurgence of DIY/Crafting is evidenced through the popularity of Etsy.com and Pinterest, new cable television program launches, like Craft Wars for TLC, and the impressive growth of Interweave’s online communities and digital content products.