Richelieu Dennis of Shea Moisture Buys Essence Magazine From Time, Inc.
This power move makes the veteran publication 100 percent black-owned again.
ESSENCE magazine, the veteran publication owned by multi-platform media company Essence Communications Inc., has been acquired by Essence Ventures LLC, an independent, black-owned company founded by Shea Moisture's Richelieu Dennis.
The publication has been on the hunt for a buyer since its previous owner, Time Inc, did not make Essence magazine a part of it's sale to the Meredith Corp. in November 2017, says The Root.
According to a press release, ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks will continue at the helm of the company and will also join its board of directors. The all black female executive team at ESSENCE will have an equity stake in the business.
"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," Ebanks says. "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."
Through this power move made by the Liberian-American entrepreneur, ESSENCE will focus on expanding its digital businesses via distribution partnerships, compelling original content, and targeting client-first strategies. The brand also plans to expand its international growth.
"We remain committed to leveraging our resources to provide opportunities for other culturally-rooted entrepreneurs and businesses that further our culture and create economic opportunities for our communities," Dennis says. "Our focus here will be on ensuring that Essence reaches its full potential via heightened capabilities, technology, products and touch points that super-serve the interests of Black women locally and globally. We look forward to helping generate new opportunities that create more value across the ESSENCE portfolio with unmatched content, commerce and international access for the millions of women it serves, as well as exceptional value for our advertising partners and content creators."
Congratulations are in order, and the reactions on social media are nothing less of that.