Comcast Sells Leisure Arts to Owner of Oregon's PA Distribution

Comcast Sells Leisure Arts to Owner of Oregon's PA Distribution

Leisure Arts Inc. has a new owner, but operations and personnel are expected to continue without disruption at its headquarters, warehouse and publishing and product development operations in Maumelle, officials said Tuesday.

"It's business as usual," said Veronica Palmer, marketing manager of Leisure Arts, a 48-year-old company that produces lifestyle and craft instruction publications, e-books, digital downloads and other products. The company, which moved from west Little Rock to Maumelle "a few years ago," according to Palmer, has between 50 and 75 employees.

Previously a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast Corp. of Philadelphia, the cable and internet giant, Leisure Arts was acquired by Cynthia Morris, owner of PA Distribution, formerly Petersen-Arne, in Eugene, Oregon.

PA is a wholesale distributor of 500 national brands and the maker of thousands of crafting items and supplies, including the Paper Accents brand of mixed media and paper crafting products. 

"Leisure Arts has an extensive 48-year history of supplying educational publications and products to the crafter and creative marketplace," a Leisure Arts statement said. "As a distributor, a manufacturer, an educator and a publisher, Leisure Arts has long been a predictor of trends and has helped to drive market categories for decades."

No sale price was disclosed, Palmer said, "because we're selling to a private buyer."

When Comcast acquired Leisure Arts from Liberty Media Corp. of Englewood, Colorado, in 2013, the deal included more than $400 million in cash and revenue-sharing rights related to the financial cable news network CNBC.

While a company news release described the acquisition as "a merger of equals," Palmer said Leisure Arts and PA Distribution will be separate companies owned by one woman. "Cynthia Morris as the sole proprietor of PA acquired Leisure Arts. So we share an owner now."

The company release said PA, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, shares an ethic with Leisure Arts as a proponent of American-made goods and women-owned enterprises. 

"PA is one of the last champions for the independent American retailer," the release said, adding that "common values and company cultures will blend and thrive as the two companies leverage the strengths of each other." 

More On This Story