Penske Media Corporation Acquires Full Ownership of 'Rolling Stone'

Rolling Stone
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A copy of Rolling Stone magazine is displayed on a shelf at Smoke Signals newsstand on Sept. 18, 2017 in San Francisco.

Rolling Stone parent company Penske Media Corporation (PMC) has completed a purchase of the remaining 49 percent share in the company from Singapore-based BandLab Technologies, making PMC the full owner, Billboard has confirmed. The news was first reported by Vanity Fair.

In December 2017, PMC acquired a 51 percent stake in the legendary music publisher from founder Jann Wenner, buying out his remaining shares. Wenner had previously sold a 49 percent minority share to BandLab, a startup digital music company founded by Kuok Meng Ru, son of agriculture-business mogul Kuok Khoon Hong.

Terms of the new deal were not disclosed. It gives PMC -- the media company run by automotive heir Jay Penske -- full control of the iconic brand, including events, licensing rights and international editions under the parallel entity Rolling Stone International, in addition to the U.S. magazine and digital publication. BandLab paid $40 million for its portion of the company in 2016, according to Vanity Fair, while PMC paid about $50 million for its piece a year later, the New York Times reported at the time, valuing the publication around $100 million.

A rep for PMC tells Billboard that as part of PMC's growth strategy for Rolling Stone -- which includes the purchase from BandLab -- the publisher's editorial is growing 15-20 percent.

After Penske took over Rolling Stone, the magazine redesigned its print edition and website, began running as a monthly rather than biweekly title and expended its investment in events. Wenner has stayed involved, while his son, Gus Wenner, was appointed president and chief operating officer.

PMC also owns Variety, Deadline, Hollywood Life, Robb Report and other titles.