Reader's Digest has been sold for just £1 to
Luckwell, the venture capitalist whose personal fortune is estimated at more than £135m, has acquired the title with the aim of targeting the "frisky over-50s" group that holiday and insurance company Saga has built a successful business on.
"Saga cleverly focused on holidays and the financial sector for the over-50s, but now has a finger in many pies," Luckwell said. "Today it has annual sales running into hundreds of millions – that merits a bit of competition."
Luckwell said the acquisition will provide access to a database of more than 1.5 million names, of which only 9% have recently purchased a Reader's Digest product.
"There is significant potential to further develop and utilise those large databases," he said.
The investment failed to fuel a turnaround at the title, which no longer has its sales officially audited in the
Luckwell has made his fortune through a range of deals and investments, starting with his launch of the
In the 1980s, MPC merged into
In the late 1980s, he was the biggest shareholder in Sir
Reader's Digest was founded in 1922 by
The title remained the biggest selling consumer magazine in the US until as recently as 2008.
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