Reader’s Digest Association Up for Grabs

Company reportedly hoping for a $1 billion sale

After emerging from a prepackaged bankruptcy in early 2010 and undergoing some major executive shuffling in the past few months, Reader’s Digest Association is putting itself up for sale—and is hoping for a $1 billion offer, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

This past April, president and CEO Mary Berner left the company after its newly elected board replaced her with company CFO Tom Williams, leading to speculation that big changes—such as a sale—could be on the horizon.

Now, sources are saying that the company has hired financial advisers to shop it around to potential buyers, including private-equity firms and other media companies. Two of those people added that the process could result in the sale or spin-off of some RDA properties rather than the sale of the entire company.

One of the most attractive RDA properties is the cooking website, according to the sources. RDA acquired the site for $66 million in 2006, outbidding Yahoo, and it has more than doubled its traffic since then. If RDA is willing to part with it, sources said that could draw interest from a range of digital media companies and could bring in between $100 million and $200 million.

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