Blackstone buying MacWorld, ComputerWorld publisher IDG for $1.3 billion

Credit: IDG

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Investment management company Blackstone will acquire International Data Group (IDG) — and its portfolio of long-running tech publications including MacWorld — for $1.3 billion.

Blackstone signaled plans to purchase IDG from Oriental Rainbow, a subsidiary of China Oceanwide Holdings Group, on Thursday. IDG is a market intelligence firm that also owns several technology publications.

The deal means that Blackstone now owns analysis firm IDC, as well as tech publications like Macworld, Computerworld, PCWorld, CIO, and Tech Hive. IDG's media arm used to be a powerhouse in the '90s, but has since faded because of continuing pressure on the publishing industry.

"The high-quality data, analytics, and insights IDG delivers to technology leaders are only becoming more critical as the pace of growth and innovation accelerates. IDG has a trusted brand and deep knowledge of tech suppliers and buyers, and our investment will help the company accelerate its plans for creating even more advanced product offerings across its business," said Peter Wallace, Blackstone's head of Core Private Equity.

IDG has made its own acquisitions in recent years, including the purchase of marketing data platform Triblio and IT pricing service Metri.

IDG founder Pat McGovern started the company in 1964. At the time, it was focused on consulting, but McGovern eventually broadened the scope to include publishing with the launch of Computerworld in 1967.

Although the publishing side of IDG has been an integral part of the company's business, it's not clear what plans Blackstone has in store for it. The company appears focused on IDG's analysis and data arm.

The Blackstone acquisition is only the latest private equity push into the technology space. Back in May, Verizon sold its media brands — including TechCrunch and Engadget — to private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a $5 billion deal.

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