Martha Stewart Living finds a buyer

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 23 June 2015

Martha Stewart, the doyenne of homemaking and entertaining magic, has sold her eponymous company for $353 million.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will be acquired by Sequential Brands Group, which is a diversified holding company that hopes to turn the fortunes of the company around. Once a nothing-can-stop it juggernaut of television, brand licensing and publishing, the company lost $2.6 million in the first quarter, with sales plunging 48% to just $17.1 million.

"Under the terms of the merger agreement, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Martha Stewart will continue to be an integral part of the brand she founded, with a renewed long-term commitment to serve as chief creative officer," Sequential said in a statement. "Ms. Stewart will become a significant stockholder of the new public holding company of Sequential and MSLO and Ms. Stewart will be nominated to serve on its board of directors as of the closing."

It's been a long, slow decline for Stewart. After rising to lifestyle guru status in the 90s, she went to jail for insider trading in 2002 and was forced to resign from the business operations of MSLO. Since then, she has continued to be the face of the company's products, starring in her TV show and hawking various kitchen goods. She returned as chairwoman in 2012.