Bonnier Corp. is taking another whack at its portfolio again, selling its Mountain Group to enthusiast publisher Active Interest Media. CEO Dave Freygang said that selling the group, consisting of snow sport titles Ski and Skiing and Warren Miller Entertainment, would let Bonnier focus on its businesses in California, New York and Florida.
When the financially minded Freygang became chief executive in January, insiders expected some tough decisions to be made at the Swedish-owned Bonnier as the weak ad climate has put pressure on print advertising. Garden Design was folded, as was Snow before it, but this is Bonnier's first significant divestiture. The group was part of Bonnier’s $200 million purchase of Time Inc.’s 18 enthusiast and parenting titles in 2007 and more than doubled its annual revenue.
The Mountain Group will become part of AIM’s Outdoor Group that includes Backpacker, Climbing, National Park Trips and SNEWS, a source of outdoor and fitness news and information. The group will be back in familiar hands; AIM CEO Skip Zimbalist, president and COO Andy Clurman and CFO Brian Sellstrom ran the titles from 1996 to 2003, when they were known as Mountain Sports Media. The purchase price wasn't disclosed.