Penguin Random House has reached an agreement to sell its travel division, Fodor’s, to Internet Brands, a Los Angeles-based online media and technology company. The deal is expected to be completed soon. No price has been disclosed.
The travel guidebook business has been totally transformed in recent years and in announcing the sale, PRH and Internet Brands said the deal “reflects the growing value and potential of digital and mobile consumer engagement with travel information and content.”
Under PRH, Fodor’s launched the Fodors.com website in 1996 and the site now receives more than 4.5 million unique visitors a month. Fodor’s also publishes more than 150 print guides, over 250 e-book titles, and 25 mobile apps, and has more than one million cumulative subscribers to its daily and weekly newsletters. As part of the agreement, PRH will continue to sell and distribute Fodor’s print guides to the book trade.
While PRH CEO Markus Dohle pointed to the success the company has had in transforming Fodor’s from a print company to digital business he said that “for Fodor’s to now reach its fullest e-commerce potential we believe the best path forward is for it to become part of Internet Brands: highly motivated tech entrepreneurs and content creators who share our passion for the brand, and have the focus, drive, and resources to deliver greater benefits to consumers and to business partners from Fodor’s online presence.”
Fodor's will continue to be based in the Random House offices in New York and will be overseen by Joy Lai who heads Internet Brands travel division. Fodor's publisher Amanda D'Acierno will work with Internet Brands executives to help with the transition to IB. An Internet Brands spokesperson said that once the transition is completed "we will provide an update on the post-acquisition leadership roster."
Among IB’s travel properties are the websites FlyerTalk.com and Wikitravel.org. The Internet Brands spokesperson said the company is "extremely committed" to the print business and plans to move ahead with Fodor's plans to publish 38 guidebooks this year.
The company is also the parent company of Nolo Press.
This article has been corrected to fix a typo.