ZelnickMedia to buy Alloy

Company co-produces 'Gossip Girl'

Alloy Inc., the New York media and entertainment company focused on millennial consumers, has been acquired by an investor group led by ZelnickMedia for $126.5 million. Members of Alloy's senior management will invest in taking the NASDAQ-listed company private.

Alloy is best known for creating hit properties like "Gossip Girl," "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Pretty Little Liars." As part of the transaction, Geraldine Laybourne, the former CEO of Nickelodeon, is joining the company as chairman.

Bill Jemas, former COO of Marvel Entertainment, will serve on Alloy's board of directors and work closely with Alloy in merchandising, content and business affairs.

Alloy co-founders Matt Diamond and Jim Johnson will continue to run the company as CEO and COO, respectively. They will exchange a portion of their Alloy shares for an equity interest in the acquirer. The rest of the Alloy senior management team is expected to remain as well.

ZelnickMedia, co-founded by industry veteran Strauss Zelnick, is a media-focused investment and management group founded in 2001. It took over video game company Take Two Interactive three years ago is now investing from its private equity fund ZM Capital, established in 2008.

Alloy Digital Network's collection of websites reaches a total monthly audience of 51 million visitors, ages 12-24, according to comScore. The company also recently launched Alloy TV, a digital entertainment network that creates original, shortform sponsored programs for young adults. Alloy owns other youth-focused assets including Channel One, the in-school broadcast network that reaches nearly 6 million young people.

"Alloy has earned a unique position as both creator and distributor of content that has captured the imagination of the millennial generation," said Zelnick. "What's different about millennials is that they've grown up knowing no boundaries between media platforms. Alloy has been extremely savvy about developing properties that cross multiple platforms."

Before setting up ZelnickMedia, Zelnick was president and CEO of BMG Entertainment.
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