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This has been a busy week for private equity. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Cloudera, Stack Overflow, and FireEye all went off the market. IDG is a media and data company that was bought by Blackstone for $1.3 billion today. Oriental Rainbow, LLC, a part of China Oceanwide Holdings Group, Co., Ltd., used to own the company.
With IDG, Blackstone gets the tech research company IDC and a group of tech magazines like CIO, Computerworld, InfoWorld, Macworld, Network World, PCWorld, and Tech Hive. The media publishing arm was a major player in the tech publishing world in the 1990s, but it has lost some of its lusters in recent years as the publishing industry as a whole has been put under a lot of stress.
In recent months, the company has also been adding to the platform, putting more emphasis on data and analytics. It bought Triblio, a marketing data platform that helps businesses give customers more personalized experiences, last year. It bought an IT pricing service called Metri last month. This can help with IT budgeting and buying. The latter could go well with the consulting services IDC offers.
Mohamad Ali, the CEO of the company, hopes that Blackstone will give the company more money so that it can keep building on its software services that focus on data. Ali said in a statement, “Blackstone’s additional capital investment will help us build on our long history of innovation and speed up our product roadmaps to give our customers the deeper insights and data they need to succeed in today’s rapidly changing digital economy.”
It sounds like he wants to add more data to his bet. It looks like Blackstone was also very interested in the data side of the business. Peter Wallace, Global Head of Core Private Equity at Blackstone, said in a statement, “The high-quality data, analytics, and insights IDG gives to technology leaders are only going to become more important as the rate of growth and innovation speeds up.”
The consulting side of the business started in 1964, but the company’s founder, Pat McGovern, had a bigger plan. In 1967, with the release of Computerworld, he started the publishing side of the business. In fact, the rise of the PC and the change in how people and businesses used technology in the 1980s and 1990s made the publishing business an important part of both. It’s not clear what this deal will mean for the publishing side of the business or where it would fit in as the company continues to focus on data and analytics.
It’s important to note that this publication, along with Engadget, are both owned by Verizon Media, which was recently sold to Apollo Global, a private equity firm. This is part of a larger push by private equity firms into all parts of the technology ecosystem.
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