Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to buy Emeril assets for $50M

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to buy Emeril assets for $50M

In a $50-million deal, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. today said it has reached an agreement with chef Emeril Lagasse to acquire the rights to Lagasse’s franchise, including his television shows, cookbooks, food and kitchen products and Web site – but not his restaurants and foundation.

Lagasse’s 11 restaurants and corporate office are not part of the deal.

The purchase involves $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock but could reach up to $70 million “if certain performance targets are realized in 2011 and 2012,” a press release says.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

In 2007, the portion of Lagasse’s business Stewart plans to buy generated about $14 million in 2007 cash-basis revenue.

Stewart said she met Lagasse more than 20 years ago, before he had opened his first restaurant.

“I have been an admirer ever since,” she said. “I’m delighted that he is joining the MSLO family and look forward to the contributions he will bring to both the company and consumers alike.”

Susan Lyne, president and CEO of MSLO, said Lagasse “brings talent, energy and legions of fans to the Martha Stewart family, along with a powerful brand and an attractive, profitable business franchise. Emeril’s high-quality food-related content and product lines complement our own.”

Lagasse said, “By affiliating with a larger company with means, infrastructure and reach, we know we can maximize its great potential. Martha Stewart has brought incredible vision to the lifestyle business. Her company is a place where creativity is valued and consumers are always top-of-mind. I look forward to joining with Martha and her talented management team to grow the Emeril brand.”

Copyright 2008 Dolan Media Newswires

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