AllRecipes.com has been on the auction block for several months, and now it finally has a buyer. Meredith Corp., the magazine publisher behind titles such as Eating Well, Parents and Family Circle, is buying the No. 1 online food site from Reader’s Digest Association for $175 million.
“The acquisition of Allrecipes.com, the market leader in the digital food space, significantly enhances our leading consumer and advertiser proposition,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Steve Lacy in a press release. “It more than doubles the scale of the Meredith Women’s Digital Network, and is expected to drive incremental revenue and profit growth, adding to our already strong free cash flow over time.”
The deal is expected to close this quarter, with Meredith saying that it plans to invest in the Web property “to optimize the site for today’s growing online and mobile audiences.”
Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Meredith has been on the move in recent months. It acquired the magazines Every Day with Rachael Ray; FamilyFun; and EatingWell.
It also last year launched a competitor to AllRecipes.com called Recipe.com, a site that attracts two million monthly visitors.
AllRecipes, based in Seattle and led by former Garden.com executive Lisa Sharples, is far bigger with monthly visitors of more than 24 million. In a statement, Sharples said that Meredith is the perfect home for AllRecipes.
“Meredith’s laser focus on women, existing strength in food, strong relationship with advertisers and proven consumer marketing expertise are very attractive,” she said. “Together, I’m confident we can grow the Allrecipes.com brand as well as the Meredith Women’s Network across digital, mobile and social media platforms.”
The site was acquired by Reader’s Digest in 2006 for $66 million.
We have an email into Meredith to find out more details, and we’ll update this post as we learn more.
Separately, the magazine publisher announced second quarter earnings today, showing revenues of $329 million. That was down from $366 million for the same period last year, a stumble that the company attributed to a decline in political advertising in an off-election year and a slow down in advertising by food and consumer packaged goods producers and pharmaceutical companies.
UPDATE: A Meredith spokesman tells GeekWire that they plan to maintain the AllRecipe’s business at its current location in Seattle. The unit employs about 150 staffers, all of whom will be joining Meredith once the deal is completed.
Sharples also will remain in her current role at AllRecipes, with the integration being led by Meredith’s executive vice president and chief digital officer Liz Schimel.