(Press Release) NEW YORK – February 16, 2012—F+W Media, Inc. today announced the acquisition of The Martha Pullen Company, a leading ecommerce provider, event producer, and content company in the sewing and craft category. In addition to the Martha Pullen Company’s media portfolio, the acquisition included its fulfillment operations and extensive sewing and craft inventory. The Company was acquired from Hoffman Media, LLC and terms of the deal were not released.
“This is an important strategic acquisition for F+W, as we move more directly into the hard goods product fulfillment arena by offering these goods through our ecommerce stores,” said David Nussbaum, F+W Media Chairman & CEO. “Now with the addition of a wealth of sewing information, instruction, and materials we can more fully serve the craft enthusiast community. The acquisition represents our largest ecommerce investment to date and further expands our ecommerce expertise and capabilities with the addition of hard goods, and inventory and fulfillment operations.”
Mid-2011, Hoffman Media, LLC and F+W Media entered a joint venture creating http://store.marthapullen.com. In a short time, sales grew more than 40% year over year, and it continues to trend 25% over prior year sales, and store visits nearly doubled during the same time frame, increasing 96%. After such positive results from the JV, the senior executives from both companies began discussions on the deal.
“This sale of the Martha Pullen Co. is a great strategic move for both Hoffman Media and F+W Media,” said Eric Hoffman, EVP & COO, Hoffman Media, LLC. “For Hoffman, this allows the company to further focus on our core food and women’s lifestyle businesses, with the proceeds from the sale being used to fund share buybacks and fund additional organic growth plans. MPC has been a great investment for Hoffman Media, and we believe that under F+W’s new leadership the company can execute growth plans in a more effective manner. F+W has been a great joint venture partner, and the results we achieved through our ecommerce venture were exceptional. We wish F+W and the Martha Pullen Co. success in what we know to be exciting times for both businesses.”
In addition to the successful ecommerce business, The Martha Pullen Company portfolio includes: /Sew Beautiful/ Magazine, founded by Pullen, now celebrating its 25^th anniversary; 10 consumer and trade LIVE events, which have taken place in 40+ states and around the world; Websites, DVDs, books, popular consumer online subscription pattern programs; and the TV program “Martha’s Sewing Room” which has aired continuously on 75% of all U.S. PBS stations since 1993.
The Martha Pullen Company, based in Huntsville, AL, is guided by the same principles and values Pullen established at the Company’s founding more than 30 years ago. “One only has to meet Martha and her team to quickly understand the passion and dedication they have for their consumers and their community,” said Sara Domville, President, F+W Media. “I look forward to working with Martha to grow the business together and welcome the entire team to F+W.” Hoffman Media Chairman and CEO, Phyllis Hoffman DePiano added, “The talented people at Martha Pullen Company will be an asset to F+W. It has been a joy to work with them for the last 8 years. They are recognized as industry leaders in the sewing market.”