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W.B. Grimes & Co., oldest family-owned media brokerage firm in North America, sold to former associate

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W.B. Grimes & Company, a mergers and acquisitions firm serving newspapers and other media, entertainment and professional sports industries, sold its Global Media, Events & Information Services Group, and its Newspapers Group to John J. McGovern, a former senior associate with the firm.

Founded in 1959 by Walter Grimes, and subsequently led by his son Larry Grimes, the company said it was the oldest family-owned media M&A firm in North America, having sold more than 1,600 media and event businesses since its formation. The company has also appraised thousands of newspaper and magazine businesses.

The newly-formed entity is called Grimes, McGovern & Associates (GMA). It said it would remain focused on M&A advisory work including buy-side, sell-side and valuation services for small and medium-sized businesses in the media, events, information services and newspapers sectors globally.

Commenting on the sale, Larry Grimes said: “I could not be more excited about having a long-standing member of our team take the company reins. John has been an industry trailblazer, always at the cutting edge of new technologies. As the media industry continues to evolve there is no doubt the new company will remain an industry leader.”

GMA owner John McGovern is CEO and Julie Bergman, a former senior associate with W.B. Grimes, becomes vice president of the Newspapers Group. Larry Grimes, former owner and president, will stay on as chairman and advisor.

“It is an honor to take charge of such a storied firm and to build upon the solid foundations the Grimes family has built over almost 60 years. Our firm has incredible talent in Julie Bergman and our team of seasoned associates,” McGovern said.

For her part, Bergman added in a statement, “Our dedicated and experienced newspaper professionals are familiar with their regions and perfectly positioned to provide the personalized and expert attention buyers and sellers need in today’s fast-changing media landscape.”

Grimes, McGovern & Associates will be based in New York with offices in Toronto, London and South America. GMA’s Newspapers Group has representatives in 10 states: Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas.