Magic Johnson and Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Invest in Vibe

Magic Johnson Enterprises and Ron Burkle’s The Yucaipa Cos. have made an investment in Vibe Holdings, which owns Vibe Magazine and the Soul Train TV show and library. Financial terms were not announced. Earvin “Magic” Johnson will become chairman of Vibe Holdings. InterMedia Partners, a New York PE firm, currently owns Vibe.

PRIVATE EQUITY

Vibe Holdings LLC (“Vibe Holdings”) today announced an investment from Magic Johnson Enterprises and Ron Burkle’s The Yucaipa Companies, joining Vibe Holding’s existing owner, InterMedia Partners. Vibe Holdings is a leading multi-cultural media company consisting of treasured and celebrated brands including Vibe Magazine, Vibe.com, Uptown Magazine and the revered and iconic Soul Train TV show and library. This investment transaction will invigorate and further cement these brands as formidable urban media outlets spanning the broadcast, digital, live entertainment, and print mediums.  As part of the transaction Earvin “Magic” Johnson will become Chairman of Vibe Holdings.  In the role of Chairman, Johnson, a venerated and proven architect of niche market development, will utilize his unparalleled business acumen to fuel the continued growth of Vibe Holdings through targeted brand extensions and the creation of diversified advertiser-friendly platforms. Through the strategic combination of InterMedia Partners, MJE and TheYucaipa Companies, Vibe Holdings will be positioned as the globally recognized voice of influence, and continue to deliver compelling and relevant content dedicated to magnifying the heart and soul of the rich urban culture.

“The mission of Magic Johnson Enterprises is focused on building mutually beneficial relationships between corporations and the underserved urban market.  Through programs designed to cultivate the existing profit potential of this burgeoning, and frequently neglected demographic, we are able to revitalize and maximize profit margins.  Currently the landscape of modern media lacks a platform to serve this community on a global scale,” states Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises.  Speaking to the future of Vibe Holdings he notes, “History and legacy are paramount in building brand affinity and we plan to integrate this ideology into the resurgence of Vibe Holdings.  Through leveraging established brand equity we will create a pertinent message vehicle for major advertisers.  We will redefine Vibe Holdings as the center of influence for the coveted urban audience.”

“We are excited to have Magic Johnson and Ron Burkle as partners in Vibe Holdings. They bring enormous experience and expertise in building businesses, particularly in the consumer groups served by our content,” said Peter Kern, Managing Partner, InterMedia Partners. “We have already assembled a great group of assets and brands which have strong momentum in the market; with the help of our new partners, we believe we can build a leading platform for our core audiences and for advertisers who need to reach them.”

“Yucaipa’s experience in buying and building consumer businesses, along with Earvin’s brand and his business acumen are a great complement to InterMedia’s experience in media and make this an exciting partnership,” said Ron Burkle, Managing Partner of The Yucaipa Companies. “We intend to build one of the most important enterprises in urban media.”

Vibe Holdings also announced today that Robert Miller, the co-founder of Vibe Magazine and former publisher of Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine, will become Chairman of the Vibe and Uptown magazine group. Len Burnett and Brett Wright will remain Co-CEOs of Vibe and Uptown magazines, and Kenard Gibbs will continue to serve as CEO of Soul Train.

About Magic Johnson Enterprises

Magic Johnson Enterprises, formed in 1987, serves as a catalyst for community and economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. Through investment, partnership and consultation, Magic Johnson Enterprises has a portfolio of companies that strategically work together to reinforce the organization’s focus on serving emerging, multicultural communities. Learn more at www.magicjohnsonenterprises.com.

About The Yucaipa Companies

The Yucaipa Companies is a premier investment firm that has established a record of fostering economic value through the growth and responsible development of companies.  Since its founding in 1986, the firm has completed mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $30 billion.  As an investor, Yucaipa works with management to strategically reposition businesses and implement operational improvements, resulting in value creation for investors.

About VIBE Holdings

VIBE Holdings is the parent company of VIBE Magazine, VIBE.com, Vibe Lifestyle Network, Uptown Magazine, UptownMagazine.com, UptownSocial and the iconic Soul Train entertainment franchise. VIBE Holdings is a vertical content and advertising network which represents over 25 websites, several publications, direct mail, TV shows and media platforms reaching over 19 million consumers per month. As the premier destination for urban entertainment and media, Vibe Holdings creates solutions for advertisers looking to engage consumers via music, entertainment, culture and lifestyle 18-54.

About InterMedia Partners

InterMedia Partners, LP is a private equity firm, originally founded in 1988, which focuses on the media industry across all platforms.  InterMedia is managed by a group of former media executives with significant operating experience. The current fund, InterMedia Partners VII is focused on content assets which target underserved markets.

SOURCE Magic Johnson Enterprises

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