Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money, will have a little more of that now as his financial news company, TheStreet, has agreed to sell its two largest divisions, The Deal and BoardEX, to Euromoney for $87.5 million.
But the remaining company will be a shadow of its former self and could be sold or go private, industry observers say.
The employee head count is expected to drop from just over 500 employees down to 75 once the deal officially closes — expected early in 2019.
About 300 people in Chennai, India, 75 in London and a good number in New York who work on the two business-to-business units being sold will move to Euromoney.
The remaining TheStreet people primarily work on Cramer-led paid subscription media including Action Alert Plus, Real Money and Retirement Daily as well as the ad-supported news service, which is challenged in a highly competitive market.
“They’ll probably have a special dividend, which will make Cramer even richer,” said one source. Cramer had been criticized for generously reimbursing himself with a $3.5 million package even as the company was stuck in low-growth or cutback mode in recent years. “Maybe they’ll use some of the $87 million to take themselves private,” the source offered.
Moelis & Co, which brokered the latest deal and an earlier $33.5 million sale of RateWatch to S&P Global in June, has been retained to “explore strategic options” for the rest of the company.
CEO David Callaway said he will step down from his $530,000-a-year job once the deal is completed.
“The time is right for me to step down,” said Callaway. “I’ll miss everyone, especially the journalists.”
Chief Financial Officer Eric Lundberg will also assume the CEO job and Margaret de Luna, who was running the consumer-oriented news business, will be the president and COO of the remaining units.
While the selloffs could hasten TheStreet going private, the deal was too good to pass up — since it is more than triple the $28.3 million TheStreet paid in two separate transactions to acquire the businesses.
TheStreet acquired The Deal, which tracks mergers and acquisitions for Wall Street professionals, for $5.8 million in 2012 from Wasserstein & Co. BoardEx, an extensive data base of business execs, was acquired in 2014 for $21 million in cash and $1.5 million in debt.
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