IDG operates in 97 countries and publishes PCWorld, Computerworld among hundreds of other tech publications.
When the transaction closes — likely within the first quarter of 2017 — China Oceanwide will become the controlling shareholder of IDC and IDG Communications. IDG Capital, which is an independently operated tech venture investment firm that partners with IDG, will become the controlling shareholder of the IDG venture business.
CEO of IDG Communications Michael Friedenberg told Publishers Daily that the deal is a “win-win” for all parties. China Oceanwide “gets to pursue their strategy of globalizing and diversifying their portfolio” while IDG “has new owners that fully respect our culture and editorial independence and can provide financial wherewithal for our growth strategy.”
China Oceanwide is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate headquartered in Beijing with investments in banking, insurance, energy, media and technology.
When asked if he thinks other publishers will continue to be bought by big companies, Friedenberg said: “Given the market dynamic taking place, you’re going to continue to see consolidation and acquisition occur in the media landscape.”
IDG will remain headquartered in Boston and managed by its current team.
Since IDG's founder Patrick J. McGovern passed away in 2014, the company has been run by a board of directors. IDG enlisted the help of investment bank Goldman Sachs to seek out buyers of the company last January.
Friedenberg said it was McGovern's wish to put the ownership of the company in the McGovern Foundation, so proceeds of this sale will go to the organization to support advancements in neuroscience and IT.
A new board of directors will be appointed after the close of the transaction.
According to a statement from Walter Boyd, chairman of IDG, McGovern made 130 trips to China over his career, and together with IDC executive Hugo Shong, formed IDG Capital in China in 1993 as China’s first technology venture investment firm.