Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is Condé Nast Publications eyeing Dwell?

Though some might argue the company has its hands full with its homegrown shelter titles — in recent months, it's folded House & Garden, expanded Vogue Living, and seen its three-year-old launch Domino struggle to weather a category-wide slump — sources close to the company said acquisition talks with Dwell were on.

The San Francisco-based magazine has remained independent under founder and owner Lara Hedberg Deam. Michela O'Connor Abrams, president and publisher, told WWD, "I have not been involved in any discussions with Condé Nast." A spokeswoman for Condé Nast, which also owns WWD, declined comment.

Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. has praised the magazine to employees, said several people privy to the conversations. One person familiar with the negotiations said they began in December and quoted the figure of $30 million as an asking price.

Founded in 2000, Dwell has grown steadily to a rate base of 325,000, picking up a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2005 and ending 2007 with 1,325.76 ad pages, flat from the year before. The magazine revealed a redesign in its February issue, featuring a new trim size and the use of recycled paper.

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