Penske Media Buys Remaining 49% Of Rolling Stone, Taking Full Control Of Storied Publishing Brand

Rolling Stone PMC
Wenner Media/PMC

Penske Media Corp. has bought a 49% stake in Rolling Stone, giving the company full control of the storied publishing brand.

Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which took effect January 22,but was announced today. Along with the online and print magazine, the transaction includes all event and licensing rights, as well as the parallel entity Rolling Stone International.

PMC acquired a 51% stake in Rolling Stone in December 2017 before buying the remaining the 49% from Singapore-based BandLab Technologies, a collective of music brands including its namesake social music platform. BandLab had acquired its stake in 2016 from Wenner Media, the company created by Jann Wenner, who founded Rolling Stone in San Francisco in 1967.

“In the 12 months since PMC’s initial investment into this incredible team and legendary brand, the need to consolidate the Rolling Stone business has become abundantly clear and something that BandLab and their leadership team also recognized and were in full support of,” PMC CEO Jay Penske wrote in a memo to employees. “It’s with their confidence and blessing that we were able to put together a deal that was best for all parties. We continue to have shared goals and will continue to collaborate in the future. This strategic transaction is a key move for what will be many years of future growth and expansion for Rolling Stone, both domestically and abroad.”

Penske added that BandLab CEO Meng Ru Kuok and his executive team have “acted as conscientious stewards of the international business and brand these past two years, and PMC has undoubtedly benefited from all of our interactions with BandLab.”

PMC’s portfolio also includes Deadline, Variety and Women’s Wear Daily.

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