National Geographic will become a for-profit publication and the crown jewel in a new venture announced Wednesday by the National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox.
The transaction, which is expected to close later this year, is valued at $725 million; 73 percent of National Geographic Partners, the new venture, will be owned by 21st Century Fox; 27 percent by the society, which will maintain its nonprofit status. The society will see its endowment rise to $1 billion.
The 73-27 split it similar to the arrangement the two entities have in the National Geographic Channels, the television channels they have jointly owned for 18 years.
Here’s what Gary Knell, the CEO and president of the National Geographic Society, said of the deal:
The expansion of our nearly two decade partnership with 21st Century Fox is another milestone for The National Geographic Society, which for much of its 127 years has sponsored groundbreaking scientists and explorers and shared the knowledge and wonder with the world, using the best and most creative media platforms of each era. The value generated by this transaction, including the consistent and attractive revenue stream that National Geographic Partners will deliver, ensures that we will have greater resources for this work, which includes our grant making programs that support scientists and explorers around the world.
Knell will serve as the chairman of the board, a position that will alternate annually with a Fox executive.