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ZelnickMedia pays $127M for 'Gossip Girl' creator

June 24, 2010

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NEW YORK—A private equity firm is paying about $127 million to buy Alloy Inc., the media and entertainment company behind "Gossip Girls" and "The Vampire Diaries."

ZelnickMedia said Thursday it has agreed to pay $9.80 per share in cash, a 14 percent premium over the company's last closing share price of $8.59. The firm said members of Alloy's senior management team are also investing to take Alloy private.

The company's focus -- as suggested by its most popular titles -- is the "millennial" generation, people from ages 12 to 24. It tries most of its series out first as young-adult novels before pushing them out to TV and other venues. Along with "Gossip Girls" and "The Vampire Diaries," which air on the CW network, it also created "Pretty Little Liars," now an ABC Family show.

"Alloy has created a terrific foundation of great content, great products and great distribution," ZelnickMedia partner Jim Friedlich said.

The company's co-founder, Matt Diamond, will continue to lead the company as CEO.

Geraldine Laybourne, former CEO of the children's entertainment channel Nickelodeon and founder of the Oxygen Network, is coming in as chairman.

Alloy shares jumped 92 cents, or nearly 11 percent, to close at $9.51, having earlier reached $9.60, its highest point since October 2007.