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COMPLEX DEAL: On the heels of selling a 51 percent stake in its Ecko and Zoo York trademarks to Iconix Brand Group, Marc Ecko Enterprises is set to spin off Complex magazine and group of affiliated Web sites via a joint venture with an outside investment group. The company is in talks with a potential partner and a deal is expected within a few weeks, according to chief executive Seth Gerszberg and Complex publisher Rich Antoniello. Marc Ecko, Gerszberg, Antoniello and a fourth silent partner currently own Complex Media LLC. The division consists of the magazine, which has a circulation of 350,000 and targets young men, and the Complex Media Network, a group of 31 style and gaming Web sites that Complex either owns or services with advertising buys. The Web sites bring in about 55 percent of Complex Media’s revenue and the magazine about 45 percent.
The valuation for Complex Media is about $20 million, according to Gerszberg. Spinning off Complex, which publishes six times a year, will allow the magazine and Web sites to recapitalize, boost funding levels and compete with larger titles, said Antoniello. A deal will also be part of Ecko’s ongoing strategy of raising cash to retire debt.
— David Lipke