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K-III to Buy Automotive Industry Publisher Ward’s Communications

May 7, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ The publishing concern K-III Holdings LP said Monday it has agreed to acquire the assets of Ward’s Communications, which publishes several highly- regarded publications dealing with the automotive industry.

Neither K-III nor the seller, Thomson Corp., a Canadian publishing and information services conglomerate, disclosed terms of the deal.

Among Ward’s publications are the weekly newsletter Ward’s Automotive Reports, which is widely read within the auto industry for its news and production statistics.

It also publishes the monthly magazines Ward’s Automotive World and Ward’s Auto Dealer, the biweekly newsletters Ward’s Engine Update and Ward’s Automotive International and the annual Ward’s Automotive Yearbook.

Charles McCurdy, executive vice president of K-III Holdings, said the purchase was ″part of our continuing program to build the K-III group of companies through acquisitions and product development.″

He said his company has ″no current plans for changes″ at the Ward’s publications, had recently met with the staff and was pleased with the quality of the publications. He said Ward’s was profitable.

Thomson, based in Toronto, had put Detroit-based Ward’s up for sale in early March, citing a strategic decision by its information publishing group. A Thomson spokesman said several parties expressed interest but declined to say how many bids were received.

Ward’s has been in business since 1924 and was acquired by Thomson in 1981.

K-III, which was formed last year by several former executives of the publishing company Macmillan Inc. and the buyout specialists Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., said it was making the purchase through its Intertec Publishing Corp. subsidiary.

Intertec is a publisher of trade magazines and technical books in the telecommunications, agricultural and industrial fields.

In addition to Intertec, K-III Holdings owns the Macmillan Book Clubs Inc., which operates professional books clubs, and K-III Press Inc., which provides information to the rail, truck and ocean freight industries.

K-III Press includes assets of International Thomson Transport Press Inc., another Thomson subsidiary which K-III Holdings agreed to buy in January. Terms of that transaction were also not disclosed.

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