M&A Deal Summary

Willis Stein & Partners Acquires Ziff Davis

On April 7, 2000, private equity firm Willis Stein & Partners acquired media company Ziff Davis from SoftBank for 780M USD

Acquisition Highlights
  • This is Willis Stein & Partners’ 4th transaction in the Media sector.
  • This is Willis Stein & Partners’ largest (disclosed) transaction.
  • This is Willis Stein & Partners’ 32nd transaction in the United States.
  • This is Willis Stein & Partners’ 3rd transaction in New York.
Investment Fate
  • Ziff Davis went bankrupt in 2008.
  • Ziff Davis was sold to a financial buyer in 2010 for 75M USD.
  • Ziff Davis was sold to a publicly-traded strategic buyer in 2012 for 175M USD.

M&A Deal Summary

Date 2000-04-07
Target Ziff Davis
Sector Media
Buyer(s) Willis Stein & Partners
Sellers(s) SoftBank
Deal Type Divestiture
Deal Value 780M USD

Target

Ziff Davis

New York, New York, United States
website
Ziff Davis is a digital media company specializing in the technology market, reaching over 7 million highly engaged in-market buyers and influencers every month. Ziff Davis sites, which feature trusted and comprehensive evaluations of the newest and hottest products, include PCMag.com, ExtremeTech, GearLog, GoodCleanTech, DL.tv, AppScout, CrankyGeeks, Smart Device Central and TechSaver.com. Ziff Davis was founded in 1999 and is based in New York City.

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Buyer(S) 1

Buyer

Willis Stein & Partners

Northbrook, Illinois, United States

Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1994
PE ASSETS 3.0B USD
Size Large
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Willis Stein & Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in growth-oriented, US-based, middle-market companies valued between $30 and $500 million. Prospective investment situations include buyouts, growth capital financings, corporate divestitures, industry consolidations, and generational changes in ownership. Sectors of interest include business services, consumer products and services, healthcare, manufacturing, media, and telecommunications. Willis Stein & Partners was formed in 1994 and is based in Northbrook, Illinois.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 32 of 45
Sector (Media) 4 of 4
Type (Divestiture) 1 of 2
State (New York) 3 of 3
Country (United States) 32 of 45
Year (2000) 1 of 2
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 7
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
1999-12-03 Protocol Global Solutions

Sarasota, Florida, United States

Protocol Global Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of electronic customer relationship management (CRM)services, providing a full suite of CRM services. Protocol enables its clients to identify, acquire and retain their customers, thereby increasing their revenue, customer base and market share. Protocol designs and implements comprehensive solutions that utilize the Internet and other communication channels to provide high value-added services that address all the eCRM needs of its clients.

Buy $205M
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-10-31 Plastic Engineered Components

Mattawan, Michigan, United States

PEC was one of the largest diversified, full-service custom injection molders in North America with sales of about $80 million. PEC operated five molding facilities in Michigan, Texas, Missouri and California, and built molds in three of these locations.

Sell -

Seller(S) 1

SELLER

SoftBank

Tokyo, Japan

website


Category Company
Founded 1981
Sector Diversified
Employees80,909
Revenue 6,185.1B JPY (2020)
DESCRIPTION

SoftBank is a diversified telecommunications and internet corporation, with operations in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, Internet, broadmedia, technology services, finance, media and marketing, and other businesses. SoftBank was founded in 1981 and is based in Tokyo, Japan.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 1 of 13
Sector (Media) 1 of 1
Type (Divestiture) 1 of 7
State (New York) 1 of 3
Country (United States) 1 of 10
Year (2000) 1 of 1
Size (of disclosed) 5 of 5
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
1996-01-01 Yahoo Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Yahoo Japan Corp. is a Japanese-language search engine, providing Japanese-language website database and directory tree data search as well as keyword search services. Yahoo Japan is based in Tokyo, Japan.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2005-02-17 Cable and Wireless IDC

Tokyo, Japan

Cable and Wireless IDC, which has a large and reliable communication infrastructure and corporate customer service base in Japan.

Buy -