Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned company, acquired Essence Communications on Wednesday from Time Inc., making the iconic brand 100 percent Black owned and led by a Black female executive team with an ownership stake.
“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 Richelieu Dennis, founder and chairperson of Essence Ventures.
Time announced in July that it was selling its majority stake in Essence. However, details of the sale to Essence Ventures were not released. “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,” said Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence.
Ebanks will continue to lead the company and will also join its board of directors. She is a member of the female executive team with an ownership stake in the business. Looking ahead, Essence plans to focus on growing its digital businesses and expanding its presence in the international marketplace to reach women who have shared interests and aspirations. Its flagship magazine launched in 1970 and became a hallmark of Black female empowerment and a cultural icon. Essence now reaches an audience of more than 16 million people across multiple platforms, including digital, video, TV and social media.