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Community parent company sells travel business

PinkNews Staff Writer October 15, 2007
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Restructuring continues at one of America’s major gay media companies, with the announcement that PlanetOut its travel business RSVP Vacations to Atlantis Events Inc.

PlanetOut CEO Karen Magee announced the sale, which will have no effect on passenger bookings.

“We are extremely pleased that RSVP will become part of the Atlantis family,” said Ms Magee.

“Atlantis plans to preserve RSVP’s distinct brand, enabling Atlantis to expand the audience it serves by taking advantage of RSVP’s unique positioning within the LGBT community.

“We believe this combination also will be a real positive for RSVP’s customers and business partners. It really is a perfect match and we’re looking forward to expanding and extending our marketing relationship with Atlantis.”

In June a company that invests the wealth of Microsoft founder Bill Gates purchased a major stake in PlanetOut, rescuing them from bankruptcy.

Cascade Investments LLC joined with a number of other private equity vehicles to fund a rescue buyout of PlanetOut stock.

The new investors including Mr Gates collectively own a majority of the shares in PlanetOut.

Ms Magee told Dow Jones in July that it would take at least 12 to 24 months to turn PlanetOut around.

Her strategy will see a closer level of integration between the company’s online and print businesses and put advertising revenue at the core of its business model.

“From a corporate perspective, we believe this transaction demonstrates to our shareholders that we are continuing to deliver on our commitment to leverage our strengths by simplifying our business model and emphasising our core competencies,” Ms Magee said in her statement about the sale of RSVP Vacations.

“We are focused on ensuring that we are in the best position to realise our full potential as the leading media and entertainment company exclusively serving the LGBT market, while also strengthening our balance sheet.”

PlanetOut owns The Advocate, Out magazine,,,,, and, as well as localised versions of the site in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

The company posted its second quarter results for 2007 in August.

The figures showed a fall in advertising revenue, down from $7.3m (£3.7m) in the second quarter of 2006 to $6.7m in 2007.

Total revenue for the second quarter of 2007 was $18.5m, an increase of 14% compared to $16.3 million for the same period one year ago.

The company is based in San Francisco with additional offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Both offices outside the US, London and Buenos Aires, have been closed.

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