Washington, DC: Redwood Acquisitions, LLC announced today that it has closed on its purchase of CSP Information Group, Inc., the leading business-to-business media and information company serving the convenience retailing, restaurant and on-the-go food industries.
“We formed Redwood to identify and acquire premium information brands in the B2B space,” said Mike Wood, Jr., President of Redwood Acquisitions, which is jointly owned by him and his father, Hanley Wood co-founder Michael Wood. “CSP quickly went to the top of our list due to its rapid growth, strong management team, and progressive culture.”
Wood Jr., who will become CEO of the new company, went on to say, “The goal is to continue the dramatic growth CSP has achieved over the last 6 years during which the company tripled revenue. We expect to invest in and grow CSP’s existing businesses, particularly in the digital, mobile and information realms, and to become an active acquirer of c-store, restaurant and foodservice industry media, trade shows and data businesses.”
The CSP portfolio includes CSP and FARE Magazines in retail, Restaurant Business and FoodService Director Magazines in the foodservice segment, and affiliated websites, newsletters, and mobile platforms. CSP also owns and operates the industry-leading Restaurant Leadership, Outlook, Convenience Retailing University, FARE, and MenuDirections conferences.
The elder Wood will be Chairman of the new business. Wood was previously CEO at Hanley Wood, the leading business-to-business media company serving the construction industry. The transaction reunites Wood with his friend and former partner, Mike Hanley. Hanley is an investor in the new business and will also join the company’s board. After founding Hanley Wood in 1976, the duo grew the business from a single-title magazine company to a $250 million media and information business. After Wood facilitated the sale of Hanley Wood in 2005 to JPMorgan Partners, he became U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.
Paul Reuter, Founder and CEO of CSP and COO Jim Dickens will stay on with the new company in senior advisory capacities and Reuter will join the board. The rest of the organization remains exactly the same, including the senior management team, all of whom invested in the new business alongside Redwood.
“I couldn’t be happier for the men and women of our company, whose experience and tight connection with their industries has produced a constant stream of power brands,” said Reuter. “And I couldn’t be happier for our customers as the new ownership team takes the company to the next level. I look forward to my new role as Chairman Emeritus and member of the board.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Berkery Noyes sourced the opportunity and represented Redwood Acquisitions as investment banker in the transaction. Zielinski Financial Advisors acted as a financial advisor and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal advisor to Redwood. The media lending group at US Bank in St. Louis provided senior financing. Patriot Capital provided mezzanine financing.