Selling Fading Empire: Martha Stewart’s Company Is Nearing Its End

Martha Stewart and her company were icons in the home department. From deals with Kmart to Macy’s and even giving some houses her own touch, Martha Stewart has always been a homemaker. However, her empire is slowing fading. Thus, Martha Stewart is selling her once vast empire.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is on the verge of selling itself.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Martha Stewart Living is nearing a deal with Sequential Brands Group Inc. Sequential Brands Group is an acquisitive retail-licensing company. The company buys well-known brands and licenses them to other manufacturers and retailers. So while you may still see Martha Stewart’s name, it will no longer be the same company.

Selling Martha Stewart Living would mean the end of its independence. No longer would it be the publishing and housewares conglomerate that Stewart built it up to be.

Martha Stewart Living currently has a market value of $370 Million, a fraction of what it use to be. In 1999, the company had a value of $2 billion.

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Stewart fell into some hard times in 2004, having to spend nearly five months in prison for obstructing a government investigation into a stock sale. She was forced to give up her roles in the company, but still owned 49 percent of the Class-A common shares and 90 percent of the voting control.

Sequential Brands currently owns Ellen Tracy, Linen ‘n’ Things, and part of the Jessica Simpson brand.

Terms for selling the fading empire are still being negotiated. However, an announcement could be made in the next few days. A spokesperson from Martha Stewart Living declined to comment. Sequential Brands did not respond to requests for comments.

Forbes is known for its list of the richest and most influential people. Martha Stewart was once on the list but fell off shortly after. And even this year she fell short of making one of the company’s coveted lists.

“Forbes looked into Stewart’s net worth for our inaugural list of America’s richest self-made women this spring. She didn’t make the $250 million required to break the top 50, but she came close, with an estimated $220 million comprised of stock, dividends, property and other assets.”

Martha Stewart Living has taken a hit in the revenue department this year. The numbers are down to $17.7 Million from $33.3 Million last year. Of course, those are just the first quarter numbers.

Do you think it is a good move to sell the fading empire?

[Image via Jason Kempin/Getty Images]