Rodale Inc., the Lehigh County- and New York City-based publisher that says it "launched the organic movement," is considering a sale of the company or of its individual businesses, which include Runner's World, Prevention, Men's Health, Bicycling, and other health, garden, and organic food magazines, books, websites, online events, and other media.
"Rodale's brands can continue to expand" if it raises more money for "technology, brand-building, and commercialization," Maria Rodale, CEO of the family-owned, 87-year-old company, said in a statement. "We are excited to explore opportunities for potential buyers," she added, suggesting that she would favor investors who value "health, healing, happiness, and love," along with better profit margins.
The sale could have a "devastating impact" on Rodale's 450 employees in the Emmaus area, southwest of Allentown, warns the Allentown Morning Call, citing Emmaus' borough manager. The founding family moved its electrical business to the town from New York in the 1930s, and began its publishing line during World War II.
Rodale has hired Allen & Co. LLC as financial adviser and said it won't talk about possible offers until if, and when, it cuts a deal.
The company has recruited celebrity authors with an interest in food and in the future. Examples include actor Jessica Alba (The Honest Life), former Vice President Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth), Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (Onward), and Rodale's own CEO (Organic Manifesto and Scratch).
My colleague Andrew Maykuth notes that Rodale has lately shifted its Organic Life magazine from a print edition to online only.