Stewart's company acquires Emeril assets

Feb. 19, 2008 at 6:11 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Martha Stewart's New York-based company announced Tuesday it has reached an agreement with chef Emeril Lagasse to acquire the rights to several of his assets.

he purchase price is $50 million -- $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock at closing -- and could reach up to $70 million if certain performance targets are realized in 2011 and 2012.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, said Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

Under the terms of the deal, MSLO is acquiring the rights to the Emeril Lagasse franchise, including many of his television shows; a library of 12 cookbooks; the emerils.com Web site; and Emeril-branded cookware, cutlery, tableware, electrical appliances and food products.

Lagasse's 11 restaurants and corporate office will be unaffected by the deal, MSLO said.

"We have been able to create a successful and diverse business under the Emeril brand, and with this new venture we can take it to the next level. By affiliating with a larger company with means, infrastructure and reach, we know we can maximize its great potential. Martha Stewart has brought incredible vision to the lifestyle business," Lagasse said in a statement.

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