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Restructures and Ziff Davis Files for Bankruptcy
Tech spending woes a factor.
from AICPA Custom Media Solutions
London-based United Business Media announced a major
restructuring earlier this month of CMP Technology, effectively
transforming the company into four separate businesses that will
be led by four different CEOs.
“The company that was CMP is now gone,”
UBM chief executive David Levin said in an interview with FOLIO:
a widely-read trade publication for magazine executives. The four
CEOs will report to Levin. “We’ve changed from what
was an old magazine company to four integrated media companies.
It’s the next important step in CMP’s evolution.”
The impetus for the restructuring came after months
of market analysis, Levin says, during which CMP determined that
the company was working in “very different markets,”
and split into four businesses to better align CMP’s products
with its customers: TechWeb, a technology market business of Web
sites such as InformationWeek.com and Light Reading, and events
including Interop and VoiceCon; the Everything Channel, which formerly
was the CMP Channel; TechInsights, which formerly was CMP’s
Electronics Group; and Think Services, CMP’s former Game,
Dr. Dobb’s and International Customer Management Group.
The dramatic restructuring comes nearly two months
after Steve Weitzner, who was moved from CEO to chairman earlier
this year, left the company in January for rival publisher Ziff
Davis Enterprise. Last June, facing significant annual declines
in technology print advertising, CMP restructured in an attempt
to focus on digital media. The company laid off 200 staffers and
closed three magazines, while just last week, it agreed to purchase
face-to-face events provider Gartner’s Vision Events business
for $11.4 million.
Ziff Files for Bankruptcy
Ziff Davis, meanwhile had its share of blockbuster
news late last week, announcing it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection in order to restructure its operations and pay down its
Ziff Davis Media expects operations to continue
as usual during the reorganization process and to emerge from Chapter
11 this summer. During the restructuring process, vendors and business
partners should expect to be paid for post-filing goods and services
provided to the company.
As part of the restructuring, the ad hoc noteholder
group has agreed to provide up to $24.5 million to fund Ziff Davis
Media’s operations while the company is in Chapter 11.
“This agreement underscores our senior secured
noteholders’ confidence in our ability to position ourselves
for continued profitable growth,” said Jason Young, CEO of
Ziff Davis Media, in a news release. “Today’s restructuring
agreement goes a long way towards resolving the burdens of a debt
load and capital structure established seven years ago, during a
leveraged buyout of the company.”
Ziff Davis Media also announced that, despite good
faith negotiations with certain of its subordinated unsecured noteholders,
the company has been unable to reach a consensual agreement with