Women’s focused advertising network Glam Media, which raised $85 million in a combined debt and equity financing in February 2008 (they have raised a total of $115 million since 2004), was rumored to be mulling over a $1.3 billion acquisition offer just a couple of months later in May.
It’s a safe bet to assume that the merger discussions were leaked directly by CEO Samir Arora or his advisors at the AllThingsD conference he was attending when the story broke.
We now believe that there was indeed some sort of discussion taking place that may have valued Glam at over $1 billion. Sort of. And those discussions, say multiple sources, were with AOL founder Steve Case’s Revolution Health, a health portal that launched in January 2007. Revolution Health’s board of directors includes Jim Barksdale (former CEO Netscape), Carly Fiorina (former CEO HP) and Colin Powell (former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
The merger sounds absurd on its face – the marriage of a womens blogging network with a health portal. But both companies are essentially in the business of selling ads, and there is significant overlap in their demographics if not in their actual users. Revolution Health is in trouble, and has reportedly gone through a number of layoffs and hired Morgan Stanley to represent them in a sale. Certainly their traffic has taken a nosedive, from a high of nearly 4 million monthly visitors to just 1.6 million last month (Google Trends doesn’t show this same decline, although Compete.com does).
The deal may not have made sense for Glam, but it was a heck of a story to leak to the press.