100% Black-owned once again.
On Jan. 3, it was announced that SheaMoisture founder Richelieu Dennis and his company Essence Venture LLC purchased the 47-year-old multi-platform media company Essence Communications, Inc. — in which they own ESSENCE Magazine and the ESSENCE Festival.
However, the cost of this new acquisition was not disclosed to the public.
ESSENCE Magazine posted the news on Twitter at 5:30 pm. Soon media outlets, social media influencers, public figures, and Twitter users followed with tweets, displaying their happiness that ESSENCE is a 100 percent Black-owned business again.
It is with great joy that we announced that Essence is under new ownership and is now an independent African-American-owned company. Thank you for being in our corner over the last 47 years. We know that we work for you and nothing makes us happier. ❤️ https://t.co/q2BGN0pxNF pic.twitter.com/CbLQlpK9Qz
— ESSENCE (@Essence) January 4, 2018
YASSSS! Congrats!!!! Real question: ya’ll hiring? pic.twitter.com/w3gwCZPDAU
— The Black Cruella (@TheBlackCruella) January 4, 2018
.@Essence is once again 100% Black owned (and independent!), which is major given it's global footprint and music festivals, which brings together 500K Black folks in New Orleans each year and they just expanded to South Africa. pic.twitter.com/pOsNHU4WnT
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) January 3, 2018
In honor of the @ESSENCE deal, I propose that we do a giant Electric Slide in the Mercedes Superdome during #EssenceFest 2018. While wearing all white, of course. There can be no chairs in the place. We need room for this celebration. pic.twitter.com/58zKHmxv2v
— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) January 3, 2018
Also, the executive team will be managed by an all-black, all-women staff, and they will all have shares in the company.
According to The Root, the previous owner was Time, Inc. and ESSENCE was not a part of the Meredith Corporation historical acquisition worth $3 billion.
In a recent press release, ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks and Mr. Dennis explained the meaning behind turning the publication back into a fully Black-owned business and why it is important for Black women to have a strong media representation.
Ms. Ebanks’ press release statement:
“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. 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.”
Mr. Dennis’ press release statement:
“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. 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.”