Affiliated Publications, parent of the Boston Globe, has agreed to pay $100 million for Billboard Publications, which produces the weekly trade paper considered the bible of the recording industry.
Boston Ventures Limited Partnership, a Boston-based investment capital firm, is selling the Billboard firm, which also publishes 7 other specialty magazines, including Back Stage, Musician, American Artist, Photo Business and a European news weekly called Music & Media. In addition to the Globe, Affiliated owns 45% of McCaw Communications, which has interests in radio, cellular telephone and paging systems.
"In Billboard we saw a tremendous opportunity to buy an excellent company in the growing business of specialty magazines," said Daniel Orr, vice president of Affiliated. "Newspapers are our first priority, but we have a strategic plan, and magazines come under that plan. We bought a company we are optimistic about, particularly the management."
The $100-million price reflects recent dramatic financial improvements at Billboard under its present management. Boston Ventures purchased the company from its founder, William Littleford, just three years ago for $40 million.