Martha Stewart Sells Brand, Once Valued at Nearly $2 Billion, for just $353 Million

Martha Stewart

DIY Queen Will Continue On And Serve As Chief Creative Officer.

Sequential Brands Group, Inc., a Nasdaq-listed company, has announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

At the height of the dot-com boom, the brand was reportedly valued at just under US$2 billion. Sequential owns, promotes, markets, and licenses a portfolio of consumer brands in the fashion, active, and lifestyle categories. The company seeks to ensure that its brands continue to thrive and grow by employing strong brand management, design and marketing teams. It has licensed and intends to license its brands in a variety of consumer categories to retailers, wholesalers and distributors around the world.

In a Press Statement, Sequential said that the merger adds a new vertical to Sequential’s platform, which is expected to generate nearly $3.75 billion in annual global retail sales from a combined portfolio of consumer brands.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Martha Stewart will continue to be an integral part of the brand she founded, with a renewed long-term commitment to serve as Chief Creative Officer. Stewart will become a significant stockholder of the new public holding company of Sequential and MSLO and will be nominated to serve on its board of directors.

 

 

“This is a transformational merger for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the company I founded in 1997. This merger is positioned to further the growth and expansion of the unique Martha home and lifestyle brand. In 1991, I started a magazine, Martha Stewart Living, which was the first of its kind. Out of our ground-breaking editorial content grew an influential brand which quickly evolved into other media, merchandising and digital platforms and products which have helped consumers, worldwide, live better, more fulfilling lives,” said Founder Martha Stewart. “With our media business operations now successfully transitioned to Meredith, we now have the opportunity to tap into Sequential’s expertise and resources to expand our merchandising business both domestically and abroad. The Sequential team is smart, hardworking, and understands the power and limitless opportunity of the Martha Stewart brand and its formidable design, editorial and marketing teams. I’m looking forward to working with them.”

Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of Sequential said, “Martha Stewart’s impact around the world is staggering, and the empire she founded is unmatched in its industry. In fact, research shows that the Martha Stewart brand has 96% awareness among women in the U.S. and 7 out of 10 women say that Martha has and does influence the way they think about, organise, and manage their homes. Looking ahead, we believe that we can leverage our global activation platform at Sequential in partnership with Martha and her team to develop the next chapter of growth for the Martha Stewart brand.”

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is a leading provider of original “how-to” information, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique lifestyle content and beautifully designed, high-quality products. Recognised as an authority in the home and lifestyle space, MSLO reaches approximately 100 million consumers across all media platforms each month and has a growing retail presence in thousands of locations with leading retailers such as Macy’s, The Home Depot, PetSmart, Michaels and Staples. Throughout the years, MSLO has been recognised by the industry for its award-winning content including multiple national magazine awards, 19 Emmys, 4 James Beard Awards, several Webby Awards and more.

The Merger also brings the Emeril Lagasse culinary brand, inclusive of its strong stable of food and cookware product lines, award-winning television and book publishing properties, as well as its legendary founder to the Sequential portfolio.

“I am truly proud of the hard work that has been done by the team at MSLO, particularly over the past 18 months, to take our iconic, peerless American brand that Martha Stewart has built into its next phase of growth,” said Chief Executive Officer, MSLO, Dan Dienst. “Against the backdrop of Martha’s vision, an invigorated, strong and competitive MSLO and the new partnership with Sequential and its leadership team, I am excited to help execute on this next chapter of shareholder wealth creation.”