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PlanetOut acquires print magazines

Deal worth $31 million gives PlanetOut a foothold in print media with the two biggest gay magazines in the U.S.

PlanetOut, an online media firm that caters to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender audience, announced plans on Thursday to acquire LPI Media, publisher of Out and The Advocate magazines, for $31.1 million.

The deal unites one of the most popular Web destinations for the LGBT community with two of the largest circulation magazines for that community. It also launches PlanetOut into the world of print publishing, a move that should appeal to advertisers and broaden its audience, the company said. The San Francisco-based company expects its purchase of LPI Media to nearly double its revenue.

"This is one gay marriage the laws do allow!" PlanetOut Chairman and Chief Executive Lowell Selvin said in a statement, referring to the national debate over same-sex marriage.

Out and The Advocate have the largest circulations of any print magazines aimed at the queer community, according to the companies. In addition the magazines, privately-held LPI Media owns Web sites and related e-commerce sites for each title.

PlanetOut emerged from the '90s dot-com meltdown as a company with staying power. It went public last year, and on Thursday it posted 20 percent growth in third-quarter revenue compared with last year.

LSI and PlanetOut had agreed to merge in 2001 but canceled the deal, citing market changes and other factors.