In a bankruptcy auction that took place today Macanta Investments, a private investment partnership based in New York City was the successful bidder for the largest portion of the Crafts Community with a bid of $2,850,000. A much smaller portion of the Crafts Community went to Creating Keepsakes Scrapbooking Events/Todd Freidli for $300,000. The backup bidder was Missouri Star Quilt Company together with Long Thread Media LLC, a company held by Anne L. Merrow, a longtime editor of Interweave magazines.
Macanta Investments is the family investment platform for Terence M. (Terry) O’Toole. Macanta was an owner of F+W alongside Tinicum Incorporated, a private equity firm where Terry O’Toole is a partner. O’Toole was the chair of the board of F+W Media and, through Macanta, likely had significant personal wealth invested in F+W. It’s possible that Macanta is taking ownership of F+W Craft Communities in return for forgiving debt owed to it that was unlikely to be paid in the bankruptcy settlement. O’Toole did not respond to our request for comment.
Todd Friedli said in an email to Craft Industry Alliance today: “Myself, along with my partner Brooke Mathewson, are very happy to continue running the Creating Keepsakes Conventions and Great American Scrapbook Convention. There is tremendous value in these conventions where scrapbookers, cardmakers, and mixed media enthusiasts come together to shop, crop, and learn new skills through our education program at each event. We plan to grow the business to host conventions in new cities throughout the country and bring back conventions to some cities we haven’t been to for a while!”
Communities at F+W include the magazines, websites, membership platforms, online learning, and ecommerce portions of the business. The Crafts Community is the company’s largest, representing approximately $32.5 million of the Communities’ total $67.7 million in revenue. The portfolio includes Interweave, Quilting Arts, Sew News, Knitscene, Beadwork, Fons & Porter, among many others.
Macanta Investments was also the winning bidder for the Artists’s Network Community for $675,000. Missouri Star Quilt Co. was also the backup bidder for the Horticulture Community which went to Cruz Bay Publishing for $75,000. According to the auction notice, the debtors have not yet selected a successful bidder for the UK ecommerce business.
Exhibit A from the bankruptcy auction shows the winning bidder for each community.