Iconic magazine Reader’s Digest has been sold for just £1 by Better Capital, the Telegraph reports.
Jon Moulton’s Better Capital bought Reader’s Digest out of administration for £14m in 2010.
Moulton said he is now selling it because “from the viewpoint of the fund, the business didn’t justify the time and effort for us”.
The buyer is Mike Luckwell, a venture capitalist who has founded, invested in and held senior positions in numerous media companies, largely in TV.
He has a personal fortune of around £135m, it is believed.
He founded the Moving Picture Company in 1970, which he reversed into Carlton Communications, then founded Parallel Media Group in 1986.
He became WPP’s biggest shareholder in the late 1980s, and went on to a string of high-profile roles in TV and media companies – including becoming a director of HIT Entertainment plc, which sold Bob The Builder and Barney.
The Telegraph reports that Luckwell approached Better Capital about the acquisition of Reader’s Digest in 2013.
Luckwell said that he plans to imitate the business model of Saga and expand the brand into financial services. “Saga is a gigantic company and I wouldn’t mind a few of their crumbs,” he said.
Better Capital has invested £23m into Reader’s Digest since acquiring it but the title fell into a company voluntary arrangement at the beginning of 2013 after its book and CD sales plummeted.