Bauer Media sets up €100M fund to be invested in European digital businesses

bvpBauer Media, one of the biggest media companies in Europe , has set up a €100 million fund to be invested in European digital businesses over the next ten years. The fund will be operated via a new VC arm, called Bauer Venture Partners (BVP).

BVP is looking for best in class tech companies and do not exclude any specific branches. They also say they are “We are stage-agnostic”. They will finance businesses in different stages (seed, early-stage, growth). They are looking for highly scalable business models in Europe.

Andreas Schoo, Member of the Executive Board of the Bauer Media Group, said the fund will give them access to “new technologies, teams and innovations in the digital field.”

Thomas Preuss, previously of German early-stage VC firm Neuhaus Partners, will act as managing partner for Bauer Venture Partners.

Germany, Hamburg

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Utilitywise plc – Year End Trading Update

utilitywise-logoEnergy management consultancy Utilitywise PLC has provided a trading update for its financial year ended 31 July 2014.

The announcement

Revenue and adjusted profit before tax is expected to be in line with market expectations. Net cash balances at 31 July 2014 stood at approximately £9.7 million, comfortably ahead of market expectations, in part as a result of improved commercial terms with a number of energy suppliers.  The Group’s  revenue pipeline, representing revenue secured but yet to be recognised, was £28.2 million as at 31 July 2014 compared to £16.6 million as at 31 July 2013 (31 Jan 2014: £23.8 million).

(Fusion DigiNet – As at 31 January 2014 the Company reported revenues from H1 2013 to H1 2014 of £21m.)

Trading remains strong and the Board is confident in the Group’s ability to deliver continued organic growth. The customer base continues to grow across all business units and the Group’s new business run rate remains in line with management expectations.

 Utilitywise expects to announce its full year results to 31st July 2014, in the final week of October 2014.

Geoff Thompson, CEO of Utilitywise, commented: “We are delighted to provide an update on what has been another period of growth for the business, both organically and through acquisition. The strong trading momentum from the first half of the year has continued into the second half and as a result, we anticipate results to be in line with market expectations which were revised upward at the time of the Group’s interim results. Progress with the strategic scaling of the business has continued as expected and the planned move to our new facility is on schedule for occupancy to commence in October, providing the necessary capacity to grow total Group headcount to 1,400 over the next two years. Additionally, following its acquisition in April, ICON is performing as planned, and the Board remains confident in the Group’s future prospects.”

The company has also announced that it is moving to larger premises at Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside.

UK, South Shields

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The Mission Marketing Group acquires Proof Communication

Marketing communications group The Mission Marketing Group plc has acquired Proof Communication Limited through its technology specialist Agency, April-Six Limited.

Proof is an independent science, engineering and technology PR Agency with an office in Central London offering specialist communication services to Clients including national laboratories, international science facilities, global technology businesses, multinational engineering companies and universities. 

The Acquisition is not a substantial acquisition as defined by the AIM Rules for Companies. The consideration for the Acquisition comprises an upfront element payable on completion, with a further deferred contingent payment in 2016 subject to the performance of the business. The vendor management team can elect to receive a proportion of consideration due in new or existing ordinary shares of The Mission Marketing Group

Executive Chairman of The Mission Marketing Group plc, David Morgan, said: “We are delighted to welcome another high quality business into the mission family. Proof is an excellent complement to our existing technology offering and we look forward to developing our capabilities further. “

 UK, London

NewBay Media acquires AV-IQ from InfoComm International

New bay mediaMagazine and website publisher, NewBay Media has acquired AV-IQ from InfoComm International,  the international trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries.

AV-IQAV-IQ is a comprehensive online resource for the pro-AV industry that includes equipment database, case studies, local service directories, product comparison tools, and more. It features My-iQ, a personalised, cloud-based industry information resource that allows users to select sources, choose their own content, decide when to receive alerts, manage their own project lists, and search current and historical data by brand, product type, or date.

“We are excited to have this unique, valued resource join our industry-leading AV and IT focused portfolio of brands and services,” says Steve Palm, CEO, NewBay Media. “The addition of AV-IQ immediately strengthens our ability to serve the commercial AV market, and expands NewBay’s data, analytics and lead generation capabilities.”

The AV-IQ team has joined NewBay and will continue to be based out of its Minneapolis, MN offices. Management of AV-IQ will be handled by Adam Goldstein, EVP/Group Publisher, NewBay Media AV/Pro Audio, and Robert Ames, VP/Corporate Director of Digital Media.

USA, New York & Minneapolis, MN

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Project: WorldWide acquires Pitch

Project WorldwideIndependent agency network Project: WorldWide has acquired Pitch, a fully integrated advertising agency based in Culver City, California. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2008 by Jon Banks and Kim Thomsen, Pitch was named a 2014 “Agency to Watch” by Advertising Age and placed second nationally for “Agency of the Year” (11-75 employees) at Advertising Age’sSmall Agency Awards. Pitch’s clients include Burger King, Pepsi, Meineke, and Living Spaces.

pitch“Pitch is an agency experiencing tremendous momentum. It is a high-energy agency with a strong management team and philosophical foundation that they live every day,” said Robert G. Vallee Jr., Chairman & CEO of Project: WorldWide. “This acquisition is consistent with our approach to attract top talent with a strong entrepreneurial attitude and skills that can both stand alone and work well with our other agencies. We are a modern holding company and Pitch is a natural fit with the rest of our agencies.”

Pitch will become Project’s 11th agency in the network, which launched in 2010, and includes George P. Johnson, Partners + Napier, JUXT, G7 Entertainment Marketing, Motive, Spinifex Group, Raumtechnik, Shoptology, School, and ARGONAUT.

USA, Los Angeles, CA & Culver City, CA

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UBM acquires cruise and maritime media business Seatrade Communications

UBM plc Michael Duck Chris HaymanUBM has acquired Seatrade Communications Ltd.  Seatrade is a brand serving the international cruise and maritime community.  Its publications, events, management training, award schemes and websites cover all aspects of cruise and maritime activity. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Seatrade’s cruise sector events include Seatrade Latin America Cruise Convention and Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, supported by Seatrade Cruise Review and the online portal Seatrade Insider. General Maritime events include Sea Asia in Singapore and Seatrade Middle East Maritime in Dubai, supported by the online Seatrade Global portal and Seatrade Magazine. In the Offshore Marine space it organises Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats Middle East in Abu Dhabi.

UBM’s events in the sector include Cruise Shipping Miami, Marintec China and Sea Japan.

Seatrade has been led by its Executive Chairman and owner Chris Hayman since 2003. Hayman will remain with the business as Chairman, ensuring continuity of relationships, content and strategic guidance. The business will remain headquartered in Colchester, UK, with its offices in DubaiSingapore and China continuing to drive growth in these regions.

Michael Duck, UBM’s Global Maritime Director and Executive Vice President of UBM Asia said:

“We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Seatrade for many years, and are delighted to now bring UBM and Seatrade together as one business to better serve our community of customers, delegates and readers across the maritime world. The unified portfolio and management structure will create a simplified, coherent and stronger global offering for our clients. From both a company and personal perspective, I am delighted that Chris Hayman – who is widely known and respected throughout the maritime industry – will be staying with the business. We look forward to working with him and the world class teams at both UBM and Seatrade over the coming years.”

UK, London & Colchester, Essex

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RTL Group buys 65% of video advertising platform SpotXchange

RTLRTL Group, the European entertainment network, is to acquire a 65 percent majority stake in the Denver-based video advertising platform SpotXchange. RTL, which is controlled by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, will pay $144 million for the company which was founded in 2007 by Michael Shehan (CEO) and Steve Swoboda (COO and CFO).  RTL Group also has the opportunity to acquire the remaining shareholding in the future.

spotxchange-logoSpotXchange provides a comprehensive video advertising monetisation platform to hundreds of publishers including such as The Atlantic, Hearst Corporation, Meredith Video Studios, Mail Online, NDN and Adaptive Media. Over one billion auctions for video advertising impressions are transacted through the SpotXchange platform daily, with ads delivered to 335 million people in over 100 countries per month. The company currently has 180 employees with headquarters in Denver, Colorado, and offices in several US and international locations. SpotXchange’s current investors include H.I.G. Growth Partners, the dedicated growth capital investment affiliate of H.I.G. Capital.

The joint statement from Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEOs of RTL Group said, “Following our investments in non-linear TV services and in multi-channel networks on Youtube, RTL Group has already become the leading European media company in terms of online video views. The logical next step in our strategy is a structural move into the area of digital monetization – improving our skills by adding innovative data- and technology-based competencies. SpotXchange is the perfect fit for RTL Group for such a move: it has a first-class management team that has built a leading, state-of-the-art platform for programmatic selling of online video advertising. With its impressive growth story and strong positioning in the United States, SpotXchange also represents a unique opportunity to enhance RTL Group’s presence in the world’s biggest and most advanced media market.”

RTL Group will appoint three of five members of the Board of SpotXchange. Michael Shehan and Steve Swoboda will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the company, reporting to its Board.

RTL Group and the management team of SpotXchange have developed a joint growth plan to keep SpotXchange on its current growth path in the US and Asian-Pacific region, while simultaneously focusing on an accelerated roll-out in Europe.

Luxembourg & USA, Denver, CO




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