NEW YORK — Eric Thorkilsen, a veteran media and publishing executive, and TZP Growth Partners l, L.P., a New York-based private equity fund and part of the TZP Group, announced that they have entered into an agreement with Time Inc. to acquire This Old House Ventures, LLC and all of its associated media properties.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This Old House offers homeowners trusted information and expert advice through two highly rated and award-winning television series, one of the category’s leading and fastest growing online destinations, a highly-regarded magazine and comprehensive line of books, as well as capabilities including custom video production, digital marketing, brand licensing, live events and custom publishing.
As a fully integrated, multi-media business, This Old House Ventures, LLC, will manage all of its own core business functions, including original television production, digital content and operations, advertising sales, magazine editorial, brand licensing, and marketing from its new headquarters in Stamford, CT beginning summer 2016. Time Inc. will remain involved with the lifestyle brand through long-term service agreements with the new owners to provide back office operations including magazine production, consumer subscription marketing, and fulfillment and distribution services. TZP Growth Partners is the third fund raised by the TZP Group, a New York-based private equity firm with over $700 million in committed capital across its family of funds. The investment in This Old House Ventures, LLC will be TZP Growth Partners’ fourth since it raised $177 million in June of 2015. Portico Capital Securities served as financial adviser to the acquirers.
Thorkilsen, who has been named Chief Executive Officer of This Old House Ventures, is currently Founder and CEO of Lifestyle Media Partners, Inc., (LMP, Inc.) a strategy, management and production company that identifies and develops existing trademarks and intellectual property across multi-media distribution and revenue streams. He also served as CEO of Edible Communities, Inc., a division of LMP, Inc., acquired in 2013. Thorkilsen has created a transition team that will guide LMP following his departure.
It was during Thorkilsen’s nearly 30-year career at Time Inc., where he held senior domestic and international circulation and publishing leadership positions across the Company’s leading brands including Time, People and Sports Illustrated, that he was first introduced to This Old House. During his tenure at Time Inc., Thorkilsen set out to create a paradigm shift in publishing, launching what would become two of the media industry’s most trusted brands across multiple platforms. In 1990, he introduced Martha Stewart Living and then, in 1995, became founding executive of This Old House Ventures Inc. where he remained for just under a decade.
For both brands, Thorkilsen orchestrated a new business model whereby multiple distribution vehicles—including print, television, digital, and licensing–were launched under individual brand umbrellas providing a compelling opportunity for advertisers and consumers.
Commenting on the deal, Thorkilsen said: “I have been a champion of This Old House for the better part of three decades and it is an honor to be able to rejoin this extraordinary franchise and bring it to a new generation of fans. I could not have made this leap without the support of my partners at TZP, who were steadfast in their resolve that this was a worthy investment.”
“I thank the This Old House team for their hard work and commitment to Time Inc. over many years,” said Time Inc. Chairman and CEO, Joe Ripp. “They’ve got a great new home, and with Eric and TZP Group at the helm, I know they will continue to thrive and succeed.”
The This Old House brand is comprised of a destination website, thisoldhouse.com, which boasts a robust and passionate audience attracting 5.5 million monthly unique users, including 2.9 million via mobile devices (Omniture). This Old House Magazine reaches almost one million subscribers and the companion TV series, “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House” continue to perform on the awards front with 18 Emmy Awards and 95 nominations, (including Daytime Emmy nominations last week for both in the category of “Outstanding Lifestyle Program”). The series consistently post the highest ratings in the home improvement category, as well as being in the top 10 of all programs on PBS.