A FUSION DEAL: Imbibe Media Limited sold to Reed Exhibitions

img_3849Imbibe Media Limited, the organisation behind Imbibe Live, the Imbibe media platforms, and the successful annual Sommelier Wine Awards, has been sold to Reed Exhibitions, part of RELX Group. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Following the hugely successful launch of Imbibe magazine in 2007,  Imbibe Live was launched in 2010 and quickly established itself as the UK’s leading B2B exhibition focused on the complete range of on-trade drinks – from spirits, wines, beers and ciders, to cocktails, tea, coffee, waters and other associated products. The 2016 edition was held on 4-5 July and played host to more than 250 exhibiting companies from across the on-trade industry, attracting almost 12,000 industry attendees from across the UK. The event will complement Reed Exhibitions’ German on-trade drinks event, Bar Convent Berlin (BCB).

Richard Mortimore, Chief Executive Officer, Reed Exhibitions UK, said: “Imbibe Live, together with its media platforms, has established itself as the UK’s leading event and voice for the on-trade with an unparalleled reputation for delivering quality and innovation to the £10.6bn on-trade industry. We are delighted to be welcoming the Imbibe team to Reed Exhibitions and looking forward to taking its events and media to even greater heights.”

Simon White, Co-founder of Imbibe Media, commented: “The UK hospitality industry is the most creative and exciting in the world. Through all its events and media, Imbibe is at the centre of this dynamic industry. We are thrilled that Reed Exhibitions shares our passion for the sector and our vision for the future. Joining the world’s leading event company will enable Imbibe to develop faster and thus reach, educate and inspire a greater number of on-trade professionals. It will also give way more oxygen to the wonderful brands and services that help make this constantly evolving sector what it is. These are exciting times for both Imbibe and the on-trade – let’s face it, who gets bored of being asked out to a great restaurant or bar?”

Darren Johnson, B2B Divisional Director, Reed Exhibitions UK will oversee the new events. The next edition of Imbibe Live will take place at Olympia, London, on 3-4 July 2017.

The Fusion Team has completed over 100 UK and cross border for its private, corporate and private equity clients, Fusion Corporate Partners is a sector specialist corporate finance advisory firm specialising in the sale of middle-market companies with transactional values ranging from £5 million to over £100 million.

UK, London

Recent Fusion transactions include:

Exhibitions & Conferences

Media & Business Information

Business Support Services and Energy & Environmental Services



Bowmark and Five Arrows sell Autodata

Rod Williams, Autodata’s chief executive, commented: “With the support of Bowmark and Five Arrows, we have achieved significant growth over the past two and a half years, driven by new product innovation, investment in people and expanding our footprint in our core markets. Our products and services represent an excellent fit with those of Solera, and we are excited at the new opportunities which being part of the Solera group will bring – to Autodata, its customers and its employees.”

Bowmark partner, Julian Masters, said: “Since 2014, Bowmark and Five Arrows have worked closely with Autodata to enhance its product offering and accelerate its growth. The company is well-positioned to continue its success under its new owner.”

UK, London & Maidenhead, Kent

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Wunderman acquires majority stake in Pmweb in Brazil 

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company Wunderman, a global digital agency, has acquired a majority stake of Pmweb Comunicação Ltda., a digital marketing specialist in Brazil.

Pmweb’s gross revenues were over R$32 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 with net assets of R$3 million as of the same date. Clients include Avon, B2W Digital, LATAM Airlines, Lojas Renner, Mercado Livre, ViajaNet, Walmart and Whirlpool Corporation. Founded in 1997, the company employs 140 people and is based in Porto Alegre with an office in São Paulo. The company will operate as Pmweb as part of Wunderman.

Pmweb monitors digital campaigns across multiple screens and devices on behalf of its clients, allowing them to tweak messages in real time to optimize their effectiveness. Managing a database of 200 million consumers, it is Brazil’s leading cross-channel campaign management and optimization company.

UK, London & Brazil, Porto Alegre

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Pageant Media acquires Hedge Fund Intelligence from Euromoney

pageant-mediaPageant Media, the business information specialist has acquired Hedge Fund Intelligence from Euromoney Institutional Investor. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hedge Fund Intelligence provides a series of business information, data and workflow products – including EuroHedge and AsiaHedge – and global events, which provide a 360-degree view of the hedge fund world.

Pageant Media is one of the financial sector’s fastest growing providers of intelligence and insight. The company, founded in 1998, provides membership services offering senior professionals – across a range of industries, including hedge funds, mutual funds and real estate – exposure to market leading news and analysis, data and events.

This acquisition provides Pageant Media with a series of synergies and brand extension opportunities for its existing market-leading hedge fund brand, HFM, and will increase the company’s scale and reach in the global hedge fund space.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Charlie Kerr, Chief Executive of Pageant Media, said: “This latest deal will enable to Pageant Media significantly to enhance its business information offering to the hedge fund industry. As with the recent acquisition of II Searches, we look forward to integrating these brands into our business and evolving their digital offering. These products will also benefit from Pageant’s belief in strong content, user engagement and creating a membership model that delivers real value.”

Staff from both the UK and US will join Pageant Media’s London and New York offices.

UK, London & USA, New York

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Conditional acquisition of majority shareholding in Martis Consulting

SEC, the largest independent advocacy, public relations and integrated communications agency in the Italian market, has signed a binding agreement for the acquisition of a majority shareholding in a Polish company, Martis Consulting SP z o.o, in line with its stated acquisition strategy.

SEC are acquiring 60% of Martis Consulting and will pay EUR 1,046,718 on completion.  The final price to be paid will depend on Martis Consulting’s 2016 EBITDA. 

Martis Consulting has a strong track record in public and corporate affairs at national and European level. Its specialist consultants work in a range of sectors including oil and gas, energy and environment, financial services, health, housing, justice and legal, as well as property development and transport.   

 In the year ended December 2015, Martis Consulting had total assets of EUR 2,206,497 (of which EUR 1,935,798 represents non-current assets that included Land, Buildings and Securities and EUR 270,699 of current assets primarily represented by trade receivables; an equity of EUR 1,795,921, loans for a total amount of EUR 320,523, the remaining EUR 90,052 was represented by trade payables and other current liabilities, unaudited),  turnover of EUR 1,688,881 (unaudited) and Martis Consulting made profit before tax of EUR 285,620 (unaudited).

The acquisition of Martis Consulting is conditional on the spin-off of real estate, securities and bank loans previously held by Martis Consulting to a newco, and SEC will be only acquiring the remainder of the assets and liabilities.

Ewa Baldwiga and Dariusz Jarosz, directors of Martis Consulting, will retain their roles leading Martis Consulting, and at the same time Ewa Baldwiga and Dariusz Jarosz will be part of the management committee of the SEC, the committee whose members are all the managing directors of the SEC subsidiary companies. 

Belgium, Brussels & Poland, Warsaw

Grey Group acquires Tank in Canada

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company Grey Group, a marketing communications company, has acquired Entreprise de Communications Tank Inc., a full-service healthcare and consumer agency in Canada.

Tank’s audited net revenues were CAD$14 million for its fiscal year ended April 30, 2016. Clients include AbbVie, BMS, Caisse de depot, Department of Canadian Heritage, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck and Telus Health. The company employs 120 people and is based in Montreal. It was founded in 2007.Tank will retain its name and become part of Grey Group Canada.

UK, London & Canada, Montreal

Iliffe Media to acquire 13 newspaper titles from Johnston Press

Iliffe Media Limited is acquiring Johnston Publishing East Anglia Limited from Johnston Press plc. The deal includes 13 newspaper titles and associated websites in East Anglia and the East Midlands. Iliffe Media are paying £17 million.

The consideration of £17 million represents a 5.3x multiple of operating profit of £3.2  million before exceptional expenses for the 52 weeks ended 2 January 2016.

The deal is expected to complete in mid-January 2017.

UK, Cambridge & Edinburgh

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Haynes Publishing Group acquires OATS

haynesHaynes Publishing Group has acquired OATS Limited for £2.4 million. OATS is a niche technology business that provides information and productivity solutions for the lubricants sector of the oil industry.

Haynes is paying £1.85 million payable in cash on completion plus an additional £0.55 million payable within 18 months of completion.

For its financial year ended 30 June 2016, the reportable pre-tax loss of the OATS Group was £0.1 million on revenue of £2.2 million. As at 30 June 2016, the OATS Group had gross assets of £3.3 million.

Formed in 1983, OATS is a Swindon based company with 35 employees that has been servicing the world’s major lubricants businesses under the ownership of Sebastian Crawshaw for the past 20 years.

OATS has developed a comprehensive equipment and lubricants database that supports customers from across the lubricants marketing and supply chain, ranging from original equipment manufacturers, oil companies and lubricant distributors to end-users such as workshops, motor parts resellers and garages. 

J Haynes, CEO of Haynes said: “We look forward to welcoming the OATS team to the Haynes Group. I am delighted that Sebastian will remain involved in a consultancy capacity to facilitate a smooth transition. The OATS global lubricants database will enhance HaynesPro’s digital data solutions to the professional market. At the same time, we will leverage our European commercial network to drive new business for OATS. The acquisition will accelerate management’s drive to grow the HaynesPro business, increasing Group revenue and profit.”

UK, Yeovil, Somerset & Swindon, Wiltshire

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