Reader Digest sold for 1 Pound only

The Reader's Digest was sold for just 1 pound to Mike Luckwell on 17 February 2014.

Created On: Feb 18, 2014 17:30 ISTModified On: Feb 18, 2014 18:46 IST

The Reader's Digest was sold for just 1 pound to Mike Luckwell on 17 February 2014.

Jon Moulton's private equity company, Better Capital, has offloaded Reader's Digest UK after investing tens of millions of pounds into trying to rejuvenate the struggling business.

Luckwell the venture capitalist has acquired the title with the aim of targeting the frisky over-50s group that holiday and insurance company Saga has built a successful business on.

Luckwell personal fortune is estimated at more than 135 million pounds.  

Saga cleverly focused on holidays and the financial sector for the over-50s. Today it has annual sales running into hundreds of millions – that merits a bit of competition.

The acquisition will provide access to a database of more than 1.5 million names, of which only 9% have recently purchased a Reader's Digest product.

imageBetter Capital took the business out of administration in a 13 million pound management buy-out in April 2010 and has since ploughed a further 23mln pound into the company.

The investment failed to fuel a turnaround at the title, which no longer has its sales officially audited in the UK.

Reader's Digest was founded in 1922 by DeWitt and Lila Bell Wallace. By the early 1960s it had a global circulation of 23 million an issue with 40 international editions.

The title remained the biggest selling consumer magazine in the US until as recently as 2008.

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