Bam! Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Acquires Emeril Lagasse’s Business

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia acquired the business assets of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse in a deal that could be worth as much as $70 million.

Under the terms of the deal, MSLO acquires the rights to all of Emeril’s television programming, including The Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live, as well as his segments as a food correspondent for Good Morning America.

Lagasse signed a 10-year deal with the company, executives told analysts Tuesday.

MSLO also acquires Emeril’s library of 12 cookbooks; his Web sites, including Emeril’; his licensed kitchen products, including his all-clad cookware; and food products, such as BBQ sauce and “essence” seasoning.

"Emeril brings talent, energy and legions of fans to the Martha Stewart family, along with a powerful brand and an attractive, profitable business franchise," MSLO president and CEO Susan Lyne said in a statement. "Emeril's high-quality food-related content and product lines complement our own and offer multiplatform expansion opportunities. He brings to the MSLO fold a well-managed company with highly attractive EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization] and cash-flow levels that will contribute immediately to our performance. This acquisition is a significant one strategically as we expand and diversify our business by applying our expertise in managing multiplatform lifestyle brands."

The purchase price is $50 million, comprised of $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock. Performance targets set for 2011 and 2012 could push the value of the deal up to $70 million if they are met.