People who love to craft sparkly holiday décor and make their own milk carton citrus soaps have looked to Martha Stewart for more than 20 years. And today, the upscale DIY queen’s company is at the center of what Stewart calls “a transformational merger.”
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia says in a statement that it has agreed to be acquired by Sequential Brands Group.
“The Sequential team is smart, hardworking, and understands the power and limitless opportunity of the Martha Stewart brand and its formidable design, editorial and marketing teams. I’m looking forward to working with them,” Stewart says in the release.
NPR’s Yuki Noguchi reports that Sequential Brands will pay $353 million in cash and stock to add Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to its portfolio. Stewart will remain the chief creative officer in the deal.
The deal, which is still subject to shareholder approval, is expected to close sometime in the second half of the year, according to The Associated Press:
“Sequential Brands Group Inc., which owns and licenses a number of consumer brands including Ellen Tracy, Jessica Simpson and Linens ‘n Things, will pay $6.15 per share. That is below the company’s Friday closing price of $6.98. Shares tumbled 14 percent in early trading.”
Sequential has become a big consolidator of other well-known brands in recent years, like Justin Timberlake’s denim brand, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Yuki says Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was worth about $2 billion when it went public in 1999. But it has been struggling against online competition.
“Ms. Stewart served a breakfast of scones, croissants and fresh-squeezed orange juice in a tent outside the New York Stock Exchange that day,” wrote the Journal.
Sidebar: Stewart seems to be keeping busy. Today she posted a photo on Instagram of her new pet, a peacock: