SkyMall Sold for $52 Million

In-flight co-op cataloger SkyMall has been sold by GemStar-TV Guide to Spire Capital and ZelnickMedia Corp. for $52 million. The transaction closed on Dec. 1

GemStar, whose other properties include “TV Guide” magazine, acquired SkyMall in May 2001 it hopes of using it as a platform for a television-based e-commerce business, but that never materialized. Its new owners see SkyMall as a valuable direct response franchise, says SkyMall president Christine Aguilera. In particular, they are enthused about SkyMall’s new “buy in the sky” program, in which it commissions flight attendants to sell product.

“The new owners certainly believe in the value of capturing customer information while the customer is engaged,” Aguilera says.

ZelnickMedia Corp. is part owner of Direct Holdings Worldwide, the parent company of Lillian Vernon Corp. and the direct marketing business of Time Life.

New York-based Goldsmith Agio Helms represented the sellers in the deal.

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