Martha Stewart’s media empire is on the verge of having a new owner, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is close to selling itself to Sequential Brands Group Inc., an acquisitive retail-licensing company, according to people familiar with the matter,” the publication reports. “Such a move would mark the end of an independent publishing and housewares conglomerate that grew out of Ms. Stewart’s knack for decorating, cooking and gardening — a company now worth a fraction of what it once was.”
The company took a hit in 2004 when its founder, Stewart, now 73, “was convicted of obstructing a government investigation into a stock sale,” WSJ notes. “She served nearly five months in jail. She ultimately returned to a company that has been buffeted by many of the same forces that others in the media industry are facing.”
The report notes that a deal between Sequential Brands and Martha Stewart Living may be announced in the next few days, although WSJ was unable to find out about the terms that are on the table.
“As with any merger negotiation, it is possible the Martha Stewart Living talks could break down before the companies reach an agreement,” WSJ notes, adding: “Ms. Stewart, currently chairman and chief creative officer of her company, couldn’t be reached for comment.”