AIM Media Midwest announces acquisition of Ohio publishing and commercial printing assets from Civitas Media
From a Dirks, Van Essen & Murray press release
AIM Media Midwest LLC announced (June 13) that it has acquired the Ohio print and online newspaper publishing assets and the commercial printing assets of Civitas Media LLC. Civitas, headquartered in Davidson, North Carolina, is a portfolio company of Philadelphia-based private equity investment firm Versa Capital Management LLC.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Civitas Media in the transaction.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. In conjunction with the transaction, AIM announced that all Ohio employees working directly for any of the individual newspaper publications will be hired immediately and continue in their respective positions with the new company. In addition, AIM will be hiring a select group of employees currently employed by Civitas in corporate or centralized functions located in Ohio following a period of transition.
The transaction includes 17 daily newspapers (16 in Ohio and one in West Virginia), 15 weekly publications and a variety of specialty publications including shoppers and magazines. The largest daily newspaper included in the group is the Lima (OH) News.
"Civitas is one of the most respected and admired publishing companies principally serving local community markets in the United States," said Jeremy L. Halbreich, chairman and CEO of AIM and former chairman and CEO of Sun-Times Media LLC (Chicago). Halbreich is the former founder, chairman, president and CEO of American Consolidated Media (Dallas), and former president and general manager of The Dallas Morning News.
"My associate Rick Starks (President and COO of AIM, former CEO of Ohio Community Media LLC, former Managing Director at Carl Marks Advisory, former Executive VP & COO at American Consolidated Media, and former Senior VP - Sales & Marketing of The Dallas Morning News) and I have had the recent and wonderful opportunity to become well acquainted with the senior leadership at Civitas and at Versa and we salute their demonstrated commitment and support to these local communities throughout their years of ownership," Halbreich added. "These publications and the service they provide their respective communities in Ohio and West Virginia represent a great testimony to the hard work, dedication and true community service established and maintained by Civitas over recent years in conjunction with their talented staff of dedicated employees."
Halbreich concluded, "We are gratified by Civitas' and Versa's confidence in us as publishers of local, community newspapers to build on their recent history and allow us to enhance the focus on community service. We look forward to providing the guidance and direction necessary for these publications and our new employees to engage their local audiences and set the civic agenda and discourse both online and in print for the communities they serve."
Civitas CEO Lior Yahalomi stated, "I am pleased to have AIM, a first-rate organization, run by such high-quality and respected media industry leaders as Jeremy Halbreich and Rick Starks, acquire Civitas' Ohio and West Virginia properties." He added, "I also want to express my thanks to all of our Civitas Ohio and West Virginia employees for their long-term, loyal and conscientious service. I wish them all the best as they transition to be an integral part of the AIM organization and culture."
About AIM Media Midwest LLC
AIM Media Midwest LLC is an entity formed by Jeremy Halbreich and Rick Starks for the purpose of acquiring and growing the print, online and commercial printing operations previously owned by Civitas Media LLC in Ohio (plus one daily newspaper in West Virginia). The new Company is an affiliate of AIM Media Texas LLC and AIM Media Indiana LLC, and all entities are managed by AIM Media Management of Dallas, Texas, where Halbreich serves as chairman and CEO and Starks serves as president and COO. Both are 40-plus year veterans of the newspaper publishing industry. In addition, Halbreich is an Ohio native, born in Cleveland. The Company focuses on local content across all forms of media including print, online and video, recognizing the value and benefits that local news, information and advertising services bring to communities and regional markets.
About Civitas Media LLC
Civitas Media encompasses more than 100 publications, many of which have served their communities for more than a century. Civitas, Latin for "community" or "citizen," is a union of four media entities formerly known as Heartland Publications, Freedom Central, Impressions Media and Ohio Community Media. Civitas employs more than 1,100 associates across 11 states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Tennessee. It publishes 32 dailies, 28 weekend editions and 63 weekly publications with a combined circulation of more than 1.5 million. For further information, please visit Civitasmedia.com.