Time Inc has sold Essence Communications, a media company with a focus on African-American women, to Essence Ventures LLC. Terms were not disclosed, but the sale comes just as Time Inc is to be acquired by Meredith.
Essence, an iconic brand since 1970, was bought by private entity Essence Ventures LLC, headed by Richelieu Dennis, who founded the Sundail Brand beauty products.
In November 2017, Unilever acquired Sundial. Dennis remained CEO.
Essence President Michelle Ebanks will continue in her post and like the executive team, retain an equity stake. She stated that the purchase represents “an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves … in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, ecommerce and experiential platforms.”
Essence Communications will be growing its digital businesses and international presence. That includes the magazine, live event franchises and digital holdings.
Dennis added that he wanted to ensure the publication reached its potential “via heightened capabilities, technology, products and touchpoints.”
The deal also means that Essence Communications becomes a black-owned company again. It had sustained that status for 30 years, until its Time Inc. purchase in 2000.
Essence currently reaches a global audience of more than 16 million across . various platforms.