OpenGate finds buyer for TV Guide after returning it to profitability

OpenGate Capital, which is out fundraising, has sold TV Guide Magazine to NTVB Media LLC, which owns TV Weekly. The deal includes TV Guide’s digital platform TV Insider, a statement said.

Financial terms weren’t announced. OpenGate famously acquired TV Guide in 2008 for $1 plus $50 million in assumed liabilities.

OpenGate CEO Andrew Nikou told PE HUB in 2010 that TV Guide had returned to profitability. It was generating double-digit losses when OpenGate bought it, Nikou said at the time.

“We have met the test of time and have proven despite radical technology transformation we can still create value and outsized returns despite the worse head winds in publishing history,” Nikou said Thursday in an emailed response to questions. “This type of output occurs when your operators are rolling up their sleeves and becoming change agents versus leading with desktop analysis.”

CBS bought 50 percent of TV Guide’s digital properties in 2013, reportedly paying $100 million.

OpenGate, a turnaround specialist, is seeking to raise $300 million with its debut fund, PE HUB has reported. The firm invests in lower-middle-market businesses, many of which result from carve-outs of orphan units no longer considered core by their parent companies.

Reed Phillips, CEO and Managing Partner of Desilva + Phillips LLC, advised OpenGate. Phillips is the same banker who sold The Deal to The Street in 2012.

Exeuctives for Desilva + Phillips declined comment.

Photo: Actress Dana Delany attends the TV Guide Magazine’s Hot List Party in Los Angeles November 10, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten