ZelnickMedia Acquires ‘Gossip Girls’ Producer for $126M

Company plans to make Alloy, a leader in providing entertainment for the millennial generation

ZelnickMedia has acquired Alloy Inc., the company beyond such teen-centered hits as "Gossip Girl" and "The Vampire Diaries," for $126.5 million.

As part of the deal, an investor group led by Zelnick will purchase Alloy for $9.80 per share in cash. The purchase price is a premium of approximately 27 percent over the average closing price of the stock for the 30 days ending June 23.

Members of Alloy's senior management also will invest in the merger.

ZelnickMedia says it expects to have the deal completed by the fourth quarter of 2010.

The plan is to build Alloy into an entertainment and media brand geared toward the so-called millennial generation (ages 10–29).

“Alloy has earned a unique position as both creator and distributor of content that has captured the imagination of the millennial generation," Strauss Zelnick, founder and president of ZelnickMedia, said in a statement. “What's different about millennials is that they've grown up knowing no boundaries between media platforms. Alloy has been extremely savvy about developing properties that cross multiple platforms."

Much of Alloy's original management team will remain in place, but there are a few new additions brought on to steer the company. Oxygen Media founder Geraldine Laybourne will serve as chairman. Alloy’s co-founders, Matt Diamond and Jim Johnson, will continue to run the company as CEO and COO, respectively. They will exchange a portion of their Alloy shares for an equity interest in ZelnickMedia.

Bill Jemas, former COO of Marvel Entertainment, also will serve on the board of directors and will work with the company in expanding their merchandising and content.

"With Gerry and Bill on the team, we intend to grow Alloy into a leading brand for this generation," Zelnick said.

In addition to producing television shows, Alloy also operates the Alloy Digital Network, a media and advertising network comprised of websites, with a total monthly audience of 51 million visitors between the ages of 12 and 24, according to digital measurement leader comScore.

The company also recently launched Alloy TV, a digital entertainment network offering short-form video programming tailored for the young adult audience.

ZelnickMedia manages and owns interests in videogames and interactive entertainment, television advertising, wireless software, business information, tradeshows and business services. Among the companies in which it owns a stake are Take-Two Interactive Software, Airvana, Canella Response Television, ITN Networks, Arkadium and Naylor Inc.