Ripplewood Closes Readers' Digest LBO

Ripplewood Holdings LLC has completed its public-to-private buyout of The Readers' Digest Association Inc. (NYSE: RDA) for $17 per share. The total deal was valued at $2.4 billion, with other members of the buying consortium including J. Rothschild Group, GoldenTree Asset Management, GSO Capital Partners, Merrill Lynch Capital and Magnetar Capital. Leverage was provided by JPMorgan, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland, while Merrill Lynch advised RDA on the deal. As previously announced, Mary Berner will succeed Eric Schrier as president and CEO of Readers' Digest, with Schrier becoming an industrial partner with Ripplewood and a consultant to Readers' Digest.