New Media Investment Group acquires The Providence Journal for $46M

new media investmentNew Media Investment Group Inc. is to acquire The Providence Journal, a daily newspaper serving the metropolitan area of Providence, Rhode Island, for $46.0 million in cash from A. H. Belo Corporation. Under the deal, which includes “substantially all of the assets” of  The Journal, New Media will acquire the newspaper’s production facility on Kinsley Avenue but not The Journal’s headquarters at 75 Fountain St., nor the downtown parking facilities and other property A.H. Belo owns.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

Journal_IconThe Providence Journal is one of the oldest print publications in the United States and was first published in 1829. It has a daily circulation of approximately 72,000 and 96,000 on Sunday.

It was independently owned until A.H. Belo Corporation bought The Providence Journal Company in 1996 for $1.5 billion, when both corporations owned newspaper and television operations.

Later, Belo split into two companies, one called Belo Corporation, which operated the television stations, and the other, A.H. Belo Corporation, which operates the newspaper organizations.

A.H. Belo announced in December that it had hired a consultant to “explore a potential sale” of the news organization so it could concentrate on its businesses in Texas.

Michael E. Reed, New Media’s President and CEO commented, “We are very excited to announce the proposed transaction with A. H. Belo. The Providence Journal is one of the most established and prominent newspapers in the United States and is the preeminent provider of local content to the greater Providence marketplace. In addition, its high quality editorial standards have resulted in four Pulitzer Prizes for the newspaper. We are very excited to welcome the paper, its employees and the community into the growing New Media family. We deeply admire the great work that has been done in Providence under the stewardship of A. H. Belo, and look forward to continuing that tradition.

“We are also enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand our digital services business, Propel, with this acquisition. There are approximately 28,000 small and medium sized businesses in the Providence market and the newspaper has a strong, in-market local sales force of approximately 40 representatives. Further, with only about 25% of revenue coming from local print advertising, we believe this acquisition further evolves New Media’s revenue mix towards stable to growing revenue categories.

“Over the past 10 months, New Media has entered into agreements to acquire approximately $151 million of local media assets at an average purchase price to EBITDA multiple of 3.3x. We are very excited about our progress year to date and, as we look forward to the second half of the year, remain focused on executing on our strategy which we believe will drive substantial shareholder returns.”

USA, New York, NY & Providence, RI

Yahoo to acquire Flurry

YahooYahoo has acquired Flurry. Flurry is a mobile analytics, monetisation, and advertising company founded in 2005. The company develops and markets a platform for analysing consumer interactions with mobile applications, solutions for marketers to advertise in-apps, as well as a service for applying monetisation structures to mobile apps. The Flurry team will remain in their present locations.The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

flurryYahoo said that the acquisition will mean Flurry will have resources to speed up the delivery of platforms that help developers build better apps, reach the right users, and explore new revenue opportunities. Together, the companies can make mobile experiences better through products that are more personalised and more inspiring.

USA, Sunnyvale, CA & San Franciso, CA

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Twitter acquires CardSpring

twitter3Twitter has acquired CardSpring. Based in San Francisco, CardSpring is an application platform that lets developers build card-linked digital coupons, virtual rewards, and loyalty programs that work with credit cards and other types of payments. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CardSpringFounded by Amit Kumar, Jeff Winner, Eckart Walther and Geraud Boyer, CardSpring’s raised $10 million in venture funding from Grelock Partners and Accel Partners in January 2012. Seed investors include Morado Venture Partners, SV Angel, Data Collective, Felicis Ventures and the Webb Investment Network.

Read the announcement on the CardSpring website here, and on the Twitter blog here.

USA, San Francisco, CA

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Sky acquires majority stake in Love Productions

sky summer_logoSky has acquired a 70 per cent stake in Love Productions, a UK-based independent production company founded in October 2004 by Richard McKerrow and Anna Beattie.

Love Productions has production bases in London, Bristol, New York and Los Angeles. Love Productions programmes include Great British Bake-off, Great British Sewing Bee, Baby Borrowers, Famous Rich and Homeless, Benefits Street, Make Bradford British and My Last Summer.

love productionsLove Productions will continue to operate as a distinct company under its new ownership structure. This means it will carry on producing programmes for all the major UK broadcasters, as well as creating new programmes and formats for sale around the world. McKerrow and Beattie will continue to run the company with the current senior management team.

Sophie Turner Laing, Managing Director, Content, Sky said: “This is a significant step for our growing international content business. Love is one of the UK’s most innovative and creative independent producers with a track record of success across a range of genres, both in the UK and globally. Led by Richard and Anna, Love has a hugely talented team with exciting plans for the future. We are really looking forward to supporting them as they build on their relationships with different broadcasters throughout the industry and helping them to grow the business”.

Sky’s international distribution business, Sky Vision, will become Love Productions’ distribution partner, representing all new finished programmes and formats.  Love Productions’ current agreements with other broadcasters and distributors will remain unchanged.

UK, London

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I-5 Publishing acquires Dogster and Catster from SAY Media

i-5I-5 Publishing, a provider of multi-platform content for special interest communities and brands, has acquired Dogster and Catster from SAY Media.

Say Media acquired Dogster and Catster in April 2011.

Dogster and Catster, which draw a combined 2.5 million visitors a month, serve as a one-stop resource for dog owners and cat owners, respectively, and offer information about grooming, diet, health and well-being.

“As the world’s largest owned and operated online pet network, we want to bring a pet owner’s voice to our line of products, while executing on our commitment to growing our digital footprint, which is dogstercritical as we continue to evolve and expand our business,” said Mark Harris, CEO of I-5 Publishing. “We look forward to integrating and leveraging the Dogster and Catster properties to bolster our company efforts and serve current and future pet owners and pet businesses across the globe.”

The Catster and Dogster teams will report to I-5 General Manager & Vice President, Digital Jennifer Black. Catster and Dogster will remain headquartered in San Francisco, Calif.

USA, Irvine, CA & San Francisco, CA

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Care.com acquires social commerce platform Citrus Lane

careCare.com, an online destination for finding and managing family care, has acquired Citrus Lane, a social commerce platform designed for mothers. The acquisition has been completed for consideration of $22.9 million cash and $8.1 million in equity at close. The agreement also provides for up to an additional $17.6 million in earn out payments of cash and equity over the next two years subject to Citrus Lane’s achievement of certain milestones in 2015 and 2016.

Based in Mountain View, CA, Citrus Lane is a subscription-based social commerce service selling curated products to families on a monthly basis. The company sources and reviews every product it recommends, while also encouraging parents to share information on their favourite product discoveries.

citrus laneCitrus Lane currently has more than 400,000 members, of which 45,000 are paying subscribers. The company had revenue of approximately $6 million in 2013, representing more than 300% growth over 2012. Care.com anticipates that revenues for Citrus Lane will double in 2014. On average, members engage with Citrus Lane more than five times a month; more than 2,000,000 member-generated product votes have been posted; and more than half of all orders are placed via mobile devices.

In making the announcement, Care.com Founder and CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo said, “Care.com’s mission is to be there for families, providing the best care solutions, services, advice and support. Citrus Lane is a natural extension of that mission, providing the best products for families with children, and creating a social community in which moms can share. Both companies have an overwhelmingly female membership so by adding this new dimension to our business, we’ll be helping moms in a new way, engaging with them on an even more frequent basis, and building on our robust mom-community.”

Ms. Marcelo continued, “Building community and content are significant areas of focus for us. The addition of social commerce capabilities is a natural extension of our marketplace and a progression towards becoming the one-stop-shop for everything families need. The talented team Mauria has built in Mountain View, California will play a key part in helping us innovate and grow our family-focused platforms.”

Mauria Finley, Founder and CEO of Citrus Lane will become SVP, GM of Citrus Lane and will continue to run Citrus Lane, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Care.com.

USA, Waltham, MA & Mountain View, CA

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Entertainment One acquires Paperny Entertainment 

eoneEntertainment One Ltd has agreed to acquire the Paperny Entertainment group of companies, an independent television producer operating across Canada and the United States, from the Paperny Sellers.

Paperny comprises:  Paperny Entertainment Inc. and Altamont Holdings Ltd.

The Paperny Sellers comprise:  David Paperny, Audrey Mehler, Cal Shumiatcher, Completion Investments Inc., Playtime Investments Ltd., 0865631 B.C. Ltd. and CS Family Trust.

Based in Vancouver, with operations in Toronto and New York, Paperny specialises in the development and production of non-scripted television programming, including a range of character-driven documentaries, reality shows and comedies.   Its roster of recent and returning programming includes: Chow Masters (Travel Channel (US)), Cold Water Cowboys (Discovery Channel (Canada)), Chopped Canada (Food Network (Canada)), and Yukon Gold (History Channel (Canada)).

papernyPaperny is being acquired for a total consideration of approximately C$29.2 million, satisfied by the issue of 2,571,803 common shares in Entertainment One Ltd. (the “Consideration Shares”) and approximately C$14.5 million in cash.

In the year to 31 December 2013, Paperny generated unaudited revenue of C$17.6 million and unaudited net income before income taxes of C$5.1 million.  As at 31 December 2013, Paperny had unaudited gross assets of C$20.3 million.

Paperny is led by David Paperny (Founder and President), Audrey Mehler (Founder and Executive Vice President), and Cal Shumiatcher (Executive Vice President).  Following completion, these three will remain with the business on new long term employment contracts.

It is expected that completion will take place on or around 31 July 2014.  In completing the acquisition of Paperny, in respect of the Consideration Shares, application will be made to the UK Listing Authority and the London Stock Exchange for 2,571,803 common shares in Entertainment One Ltd. to be admitted to the Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange.  The shares shall rank pari passu with the existing common shares of the Company.

Darren Throop, Chief Executive Officer, commented: 

“We are delighted that the Paperny team is joining eOne.  Under the leadership of David, Audrey and Cal, Paperny has grown significantly and has developed an excellent reputation for producing high quality, non-scripted television content.  As part of our enlarged TV business, we look forward to continuing that development and realising further international distribution opportunities across the eOne Group.”

UK, London & Canada, Vancouver

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