Cloud-based communications provider J2 Global (JCOM) is buying Ziff-Davis Publishing for $167 million in a bid to add digital content to its messaging and storage solutions. Ziff-Davis owns PCMag.com, Geek.com, Computershopper.com, and a number of business-to-business (B2B) media properties.
“We have years of experience and significant interest in the digital media and online marketing space, both as a large scale consumer of advertising (~$50M per year) and as a seller of advertising on our ad supported properties (e.g. eFax Free),” said J2 CEO Hemi Zucker. “This acquisition brings scale to this effort with a top leadership team deeply committed to building the business through organic growth, which we expect to continue. This is our 40th acquisition and we plan to grow the business in the same way we have our others – through a combination of internal growth and acquisitions.”
J2 Global’s primary products are eFax, eVoice, KeepItSafe, FuseMail, Campaigner, and Onebox. The company has been aggressively moving into mobile. “Today’s business is mobile. Our customers need to be able to close a deal, process an order, or approve an expense in the office, at home, or on the road,” said Mike Pugh, vice president, marketing of j2 Global, commenting on the company’s recent introduction of an Android app that enables Android users to sign and send contracts and invoices from their mobile devices.
Ziff-Davis was an early adopter of mobile content strategies. Its major B2B publications have had native apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone for more than a year, as well as websites that are optimized for mobile browsers. Shortly after launching the apps and the new websites, Ziff-Davis discontinued the print versions of its major B2B publications: eWeek, Baseline and CIO Insight.
J2 Global says it will fund the purchase of Ziff-Davis with cash on hand, and that the deal will be accretive next year, adding $60 million to 2013 revenue.