Media Fortune Fame & Folly

Blackstone buys IDG for $1.3bn

Blackstone private equity has bought International Data Group (IDG) for $1.3bn. in another sign that investors are finding acquisition targets in the publishing industry. The company, which was founded in 1964 by US computer magazine publisher Pat McGovern, was previously was owned by Oriental Rainbow, of China.

IDG operates the tech consultancy IDC and publishes digital magazines Computerworld, CIS, CSO, InfoWorld, Macworld, Network World, PCWorld and TechHive, most of which were once printed magazines.

Blackstone’s acquisition follows IDG’s build-up of its marketing technology and data. Last year, it acquired Triblio to expand into B2B sales and marketing software, touting the integration with its media brands and first-party data. Just last month, it acquired the IT pricing service Metri, bolstering its data offering. It is assumed that Blackstone will invest in more data deals but will divest the IDG media brands.

McGovern founded IDC (now a IDG subsidiary) in 1964 with the computer industry still in its infancy. He sought to provide the industry with data on IT. Three years later, he launched Computerworld, a weekly print publication which became the company’s flagship licensed around the world, starting in Japan.

Over more than 50 years, McGovern oversaw IDG’s launch of more than 300 magazines and newspapers and championed the expansion of IDG’s network to include more than 460 websites, 200 mobile apps and 700 events worldwide. IDG brands are now published in print and digitally in more than 80 countries.

In its heyday, IDG also established wide-ranging media joint ventures in China. In 1991, he established the bestselling “For Dummies” series of books explaining various subjects to the lay person.

Just before his death in 2014, Pat McGovern was said by Forbes to have had a net worth of $5bn.