The Inside Story Behind SouthComm’s Rapid-Fire Breakup

“The single hardest thing to do in business is to make a deal, whether you’re buying or selling.” Former SouthComm, Inc. COO Blair Johnson knew the magnitude of the task before him when, in November 2017, the company’s equity backer Solidus ousted CEO Chris Ferrell and indicated its desire to exit the publishing business within eight months. “At that time, Solidus had decided they wanted to liquidate their position and get out of SouthComm,” Johnson tells Folio:. “[Managing partner] Vic Gatto and the board made a decision that we needed to do it, and do it quickly, and that Chris was probably not the right person to do it. He likes to buy and build, and it’s a different strategy when you have to liquidate.” And so Solidus handed the company reins to Johnson—who took over as CEO—and CFO Bob Mahoney, and the pair immediately began the process of selling off a company that comprised alt-weeklies serving five different cities, a robust b2b media business, and hundreds of employees, among other assets. In a b2b-media space characterized by frequent mergers and acquisitions, the circumstances may have felt a bit like déjà vu all over again for Johnson, who had arrived at SouthComm from Cygnus Business Media in 2015 after four years helping transition that company from bankruptcy to breakup. “We essentially had eight different entities that we had to find a new home for,” Johnson continues. “Clearly, the biggest of these was the b2b assets from legacy Cygnus.” The relative... Continue reading at 'Folio Magazine'

[ Folio Magazine | 2018-08-03 00:00:00 UTC ]
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