Krause Publications, which publishes The Comics Buyers Guide, Comics and Games Retailer, Scrye, Card Trade, Toy Shop, Numismatic News, and many other hobby-oriented publications, has been sold to F&W Publications of Cincinnati, Ohio for $120 million.  The sale should result in a nice payday for the 450 Krause employees, who will divide some $80 million from the sale of the employee owned company.  A spokeswoman for F&W stated that Krause would remain in Iola, Wisconsin and that F&W was retaining the Krause employees.


Started in 1952 by Chet Krause, a Waupaca County carpenter who was interested in coin collecting and who composed the first one-page issue of Numismatic News at his mother's dining room table, Krause Publications now includes 46 different hobby-oriented magazines and a book division that publishes more than 125 volumes a year.  The company that is acquiring Krause, F&W, currently publishes Writer's Digest and The Artist's Magazine.  The man behind the acquisition is William F. Reilly, who acquired F & W earlier this year and appears to be bent on acquiring a large chain of specialty publications.


Reilly is the former head of Primedia, which publishes New York, Seventeen and around 250 other magazines.  With the backing of  LBO specialists KKR (Kohlberg, Kravis, & Roberts), Primedia rolled up a massive magazine portfolio.  Given the increasing competition and declining sales of general interest periodicals, Reilly's current plans appear to favor small, more narrowly oriented publications with stable readerships.  Krause Publications definitely fills that bill.