Photo credit: Josh Brasted/ Getty Images
Have you heard the great news?! ESSENCE magazine has just been restored as a 100% Black-owned independent company after being acquired by Essence Ventures LLC from Time Inc. Essence Ventures made the announcement on Wednesday of its acquisition of Essence Communications Inc.
The independent African American owned company was founded and is currently chaired by Richelieu Dennis, who is also the co-founder of Sundial Brands.
"We are excited to be able to return this culturally relevant and historically significant platform to ownership by the people and the consumers whom it serves and offer new opportunities for the women leading the business to also be partners in the business," said Dennis in a statement.
ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks, who will remain at the helm of the company and join its board of directors, explained:
"This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms. In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centering and elevation of the Black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position."
Along with Ebanks, ESSENCE's Black female-led executive team is set to have an ownership stake in the brand.
"ESSENCE has always embodied and evangelized what the world now sees – the sheer beauty, power and magic of Black women,” said Ebanks. “From her influence in politics and at the polls, mandate for social justice, and demand for economic inclusion to her impact on beauty culture, leadership in equal rights efforts, and catalyzation of community empowerment, she is at the forefront – driving the cultural phenomena that are positively changing the world. ESSENCE will continue to lead that charge with, for and beside her as the unparalleled platform for her voice."
This new deal marks the first time in nearly 20 years that ESSENCE has been a fully Black-owned company. It looks like 2018 is already off to a great start!