UBM in advanced talks to acquire Advanstar

UBMUBM is in advanced talks to acquire Advanstar. Reuters is reporting that UBM are paying around $900M for the privately held U.S. trade show organiser.

Advanstar generates roughly $95 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. It has has a portfolio of 54 trade shows, 100 conferences, 30 publications, and almost 200 electronic products and Web sites, as well as educational and direct marketing products and services. Advanstar has approximately 600 employees and currently operates from multiple offices in North America and Europe.

A UBM statement confirming the talks said, “UBM plc notes recent market speculation concerning a potential acquisition of advanstarAdvanstar by UBM. UBM confirms that it is involved in discussions which may, or may not, lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made in due course, if appropriate.”

This would be the first large acquisition for UBM under its new CEO Tim Cobbold, who started at the company earlier this year after leaving British banknote printer De La Rue.

UK, London & USA, Santa Monica, CA

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WPP and ITV invest in digital content studio Indigenous Media

wppWPP is taking a significant minority stake in Indigenous Media along with ITV, the UK’s largest commercial broadcast network.

Indigenous Media LLC is a new digital studio that produces high-quality scripted content and develops channel brands for content distribution, founded by award-winning film makers Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia and Jake Avnet.

itvWPP and ITV will contribute advertising and distribution expertise, allowing Indigenous Media to focus on creating content that will attract brand sponsorships, and global distribution on multiple platforms. Other investors include Advancit Capital and individuals including Steven Tisch, Michael Price and Dr. Aaron Stern. Indigenous Media is based in Los Angeles.

Indigenous Media will focus on producing scripted hour-long and half-hour long series for digital platforms worldwide, as well as developing multi-platform content brands. Director/producers Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Justified, Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business), Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment, Big Love, Last Days in the Desert), and Jake Avnet have won Oscars, Emmys and Tonys for their work. They bring well established relationships with such talents as Julia Stiles, Jennifer Beals, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Anna Paquin, Maggie Grace and Alfred Molina, and writers/directors Marta Kauffman, Betty Thomas, Lesli Linka Glatter, Paul Brickman, and Neil LaBute to the new company.

The Avnets and Garcia have already won critical acclaim for the female-centric WIGS digital content model they founded, which has Fox Broadcasting as its strategic partner. WIGS, which is available on Hulu and FOXNOW, develops high-quality original series, short films, and documentaries, all starring female leads. WIGS has been recognized by The Webbys, Streamy’s, IAWTV, and Writers Guild of America, among others.

UK, London & USA, Los Angeles, CA

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Kantar Health acquires health consultancy services company Evidências in Brazil

WPP’s wholly-owned global healthcare consulting firm, Kantar Health, has acquired Focus Assistência Médica S/S Ltda. and Classe Assistência Médica S/S Ltda. (“Evidências”), a leading healthcare research company, in Brazil.

Evidências’ unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2013 were approximately R$5.8 million with gross assets of approximately R$0.9 million at the same date. Founded in 1998, the company employs 22 people and is based in Campinas with an office in São Paulo.

Evidências provides consultancy and research services in pharmacoeconomic studies and analysis, local dossier submission packages, professional writing, market access and training. It works with all segments of the Brazilian healthcare market, including health insurers, government bodies, hospitals and providers, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.

UK, London & Brazil, São Paulo

Y&R Advertising acquires creative and research agency from MCS Holding in Mongolia

WPP’s wholly owned operating company Y&R Advertising is to acquire the creative and research agency of MCS Holding LLC, one of Mongolia’s largest conglomerates.

The deal marks WPP’s first acquisition in Mongolia. In addition, Y&R becomes the first global ad network to establish a majority-owned agency office in the country.

Established in 2008, the creative and research agency provides a range of services, including advertising development and events management as well as consumer and retail market research services. Its clients include MCS Asia Pacific Brewery, Dell, Herbalife, and JTI. The agency has approximately 45 people.

Following the acquisition, the agency will be renamed Y&R Mongolia; its market research business will be affiliated to WPP’s global research consultancy TNS, which will be the first international research consultancy to establish a presence in Mongolia.

UK, London & Mongolia

Thomson Reuters to sell peHUB, Buyouts and Venture Capital Journal

Thomson Reuters LogoThomson Reuters is selling several of its trade publications, including peHUB, Buyouts and Venture Capital Journal, according to a report in peHUB.

PeHUB, Buyouts and VCJ are produced by Thomson Reuters’ Deals Group, which employs a dozen journalists.

  • Buyouts is a bi-weekly magazine that covers news and trends in the buyouts market.
  • Venture Capital Journal is a monthly magazine that covers the venture capital business.
  • peHUB is a blog that covers PE and VC news.

The Deals Group also publishes peHUB Wire, a free daily email newsletter . The Wire reportedly has more than 60,000 subscribers. Subscriber numbers were unavailable for Buyouts, which costs $2,695 per year, and VCJ, which costs $2,295 annually. Thomson Reuters also doesn’t disclose the number of monthly unique visitors to peHUB.

USA, New York, NY & UK, London

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Salmon acquires e-commerce digital agency Neoworks in the UK

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company Salmon, an e-commerce agency, has acquired e-commerce specialists, Neoworks Limited in the UK.

Salmon, a WPP Digital company, is known for its design, development, implementation and management of enterprise-scale multichannel systems for retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers with more than US$5 billion of online sales running through platforms which it has built. Neoworks, which specialises in the implementation of e-commerce sites using SAP’s hybris technology, will complement Salmon’s existing technology skills and give clients greater flexibility to work with the most appropriate platform for their needs.

London-based Neoworks employs 35 people and services clients including Ted Baker, ASICS, and T-Mobile. The agency’s consolidated unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 March 2014 were £3.9 million, with gross assets of £2.7 million as at the same date.

UK, London

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MECOM GROUP disposes of LMG

mecomMecom Group plc is selling its operating subsidiary in Limburg, LMG Netherlands II B.V., to Concentra Media Nederland B.V., a subsidiary of Concentra NV.

LMG is the publisher of Dagblad de Limburger and Limburgs Dagblad, regional newspaper titles in the Dutch province of Limburg with a combined daily circulation of approximately 138,000. In the year ended 31st December 2013 LMG generated a profit before tax of €4.5 million and as at 30th June 2014 its gross assets were valued in the Group’s consolidated accounts at approximately €44.4 million (including €15.0 million of cash and cash equivalents). The LMG business is owned by LMG Netherlands I B.V., which is ultimately a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group and the Sale will be effected by means of a transfer of LMG’s shares to Concentra. Loek Radix, the interim Managing Director of LMG’s subsidiary, Media Groep Limburg, will remain with the business following the Sale.

The Sale places a preliminary enterprise valuation of approximately €58 million on LMG. Following adjustments the Group will receive initial net cash proceeds of €40 million, subject to adjustments for LMG’s net cash and working capital at completion.

Completion is expected to take place on 30th September 2014.

In addition to the preliminary enterprise valuation above, the transaction also provides for:

1. an earn-out arrangement under which Mecom would receive up to €4 million in additional consideration, depending on the cumulative financial performance of LMG in the three years following completion; and

2. Mecom receiving 90 per cent of the net sale proceeds (up to a maximum of €3.4 million) of the land and buildings at two print plants which Concentra is acquiring as part of the Sale (one of which is disused and the other of which will be shut within a year of completion of the Sale) and which Concentra has agreed to sell in conjunction with Mecom following completion of the Sale

The total valuation of LMG in the Sale will therefore depend on the final amounts receivable under 1. and 2. above. The enterprise valuation, as a multiple of 2013 EBITDA, will therefore be in a range of approximately 4.0 times (assuming nothing is received in respect of 1. and 2.) to approximately 4.5 times (assuming receipt of the maximum payments envisaged in respect of 1. and 2.).

LMG has also entered into a services agreement with Mecom’s remaining Dutch subsidiary, Koninklijke Wegener NV (“Wegener”), under which Wegener will provide various services to LMG for a period of three years from completion of the Sale, for total consideration of at least €4.5 million. Concentra will make a €1.5 million advance payment on LMG’s behalf in respect of this services agreement at completion.

Norway, Oslo & UK, London & Belgium, Hasselt & The Netherlands, Limburg

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