Freeman acquires Info Salons

FreemanBrand experience company Freeman has acquired digital technology company Info Salons, a leading provider of registration and attendee database management solutions. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, Freeman will benefit from Info Salons’ nearly 30 years of experience in the industry and its event technology solutions which aim to improve online and on-site registration processes and unlock attendee data and sales leads for show organizers. Going forward, Info Salons applications and tools will be fully integrated into the digital solutions offered by Freeman.

Richard Maranville, chief digital officer at Freeman, said, “We’re always looking for ways to simplify the event and show planning processes for our clients; and investing in leading digital technologies enables us to provide the robust capabilities show organizers need to thrive in the ever-evolving events industry. With the integration of Info Salons’ digital tools into our event management offerings, we’ll be better equipped to help our clients get the most out of their attendee data.”

USA, Dallas, TX & Australia, Surry Hills

Media 10 acquires Pro Publishing Media & Events

Media 10Media 10 has acquired Pro Publishing Media & Events Ltd, originally founded by Clara Perry in 2007. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition will bolsters Media 10’s offering within the kitchen and bathroom sector. Brands include luxury consumer magazine Utopia Kitchen & Bathroom, trade magazine Designer Kitchen & Bathroom, and the Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards event. Digital brands kb-eye.com and kb-network.co.uk also form part of the portfolio, as well as The d List, the Designer Guides and the Utopia Supplements.

All brands will continue to be headed up and managed by Perry under a directorship role of the newly formed kitchen and bathroom division at Media 10 Ltd.

Media 10 CEO Lee Newton said, “With over a million people visiting our events each year from both the trade and consumer markets, we are delighted to be able to join forces with Clara and her excellent team; this partnership puts us in a unprecedented position where all products can take advantage of each other’s strengths to continue to build strong brands across all media platforms within the kitchen and bathroom industry.”

UK, Loughton & Colchester

Blackstone reportedly near a deal to buy PennWell for around $300M

According to an article on the Forbes website, Blackstone Group is close to finalising a deal to acquire PennWell Corp for around $300 million. The company has estimated revenue of around $170 million. Forbes sources say the deal is being made specifically through Clarion Events, the London-based trade-show operator that Blackstone acquired last summer.

Read the Forbes article here.

USA, New York. NY & Tulsa, OK

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Future plc acquires Newbay Media

FUTURE-logo-Future plc, a global platform for specialist media, has acquired Newbay Media LLC, a US based information and events business, for an initial net consideration of $12.25 million (£8.62 million) cash and $1.55 million (£1.09 million) shares, with a further potential deferred consideration of up to $5.60 million (£3.94 million) in January 2019, depending on the future performance of the acquired business.

Newbay’s information and events business operates in three verticals: Television & Video, Entertainment & Educational Technology and Music. Newbay’s brands include Music Week, Twice and Broadcasting & Cable. Newbay generated EBITDA of $4.2 million in the year ending 31 December 2017.

The acquisition has been funded in part by an increase in Future’s debt facilities of £5m with the remainder of the cash consideration, as well as the expected cash consideration of the acquisition of the Haymarket titles recently announced, funded out of existing debt facilities

The initial share consideration constitutes 283,692 new ordinary shares of 15p each (the “Consideration Shares”) with a holdback on a potential further 18,303 shares. The Consideration Shares will be subject to lock-up restrictions for a period of three months from the date of issue.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, commented: “This acquisition strengthens our presence in the US, and together with our recent UK acquisition expands our market leadership in music and consumer electronics. Newbay’s B2B titles, including those in audio visual and television broadcasting, will further diversify our revenue streams whilst bringing additional valuable B2B experience to complement Future’s B2C businesses.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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GlobalData to acquire Research Views for £90M

GlobalDataGlobalData Plc has agreed to acquire Research Views Limited for £90 million.  Research Views is controlled by GlobalData Chief Executive Officer Mike Danson amongst other shareholders.

Research Views is a portal for Oil & Gas and Power news and analysis. In FY17 the Research Views generated pro forma revenues of approximately £27.0m (an increase of 18.8% over the prior year) and EBITDA of £2.1 million.

Under the terms of the Acquisition, 15,957,447 new Ordinary Shares will be issued to the vendors of Research Views Limited (15.6% of the Existing Ordinary Shares), which equates to £90.0 million based on the volume weighted average price of an Existing Ordinary Share of 564 pence over the 30 days prior to the announcement of the possible acquisition.  GlobalData’s share price at the close of business on 23 February 2018, the last business day before the original announcement of the possible acquisition, was 547.5 pence.

In addition, net debt of £9.8 million will be assumed by the Company on Completion, which includes shareholder debt of £8.4 million. The Company will procure that the shareholder debt is repaid by the Research Views Group to Michael Danson and his associated companies on completion (such repayment to be funded by the Company’s existing banking facilities).

Commenting on the Acquisition, Bernard Cragg, Chairman of the Independent Committee of GlobalData, said: “This transaction consolidates the Group’s transformation into a global data and analytics business with a truly differentiated multi-industry offering. It is consistent with our focusing on data and analytics by strengthening our existing industry offerings and expanding the industries we cover.”

Completion is expected to occur following the General Meeting on 24 April 2018.

 UK, London

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Moneysupermarket.com to acquire home communications comparison business Decision Technologies

moneysupermarket1Moneysupermarket is to acquire Decision Technologies Limited, a home communications and mobile phone comparison business, for £40 million.

Decision Technologies, known as Decision Tech, provides home communications comparison both as a B2B service and via its own consumer comparison brands such as broadbandchoices.co.uk. As a white-label provider, Decision Tech sits behind several of the UK’s comparison tools for home communications, including Moneysavingexpert.com. 

Decision Tech is headquartered in London and employs a team of over 40 staff. The business is forecasting £3.6 million adjusted EBITDA for the year to 31 March 2018. Following completion, Michael Phillips, Founder and CEO, and the Decision Tech management team will join the Group and continue to lead Decision Tech from their current offices in Holborn.

Mark Lewis, Moneysupermarket Chief Executive Officer, said: “Decision Tech is one of the UK’s leading platforms for helping consumers compare and choose home communications, broadband and mobile phone deals.  This is an area people find complex and confusing, and where there are plenty of savings to be made by customers”.

 UK, London

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Phoenix invests in Capital Economics

Phoenix Equity PartnersPrivate equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners has acquired a controlling stake in independent research company Capital Economics. Phoenix’s investment, which values the business at circa £95m, will be made alongside the existing management team and shareholders. Roger Bootle will retain a significant stake in the business.

Capital Economics is one of the leading independent macro-economic research companies in the world. Their team of more than 60 experienced economists provide award-winning macro-economic, financial markets and sectoral analysis, forecasts and consultancy from offices in London, New York, Toronto, Singapore and Sydney. The business provides research subscriptions, data and events to approximately 1,500 global institutions.

Capital Economics’ existing backer LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, will exit its minority stake. Since their investment in October 2014, the business has grown revenues by 30% to over £22.5m in its latest financial year, launched several new services and opened new offices in New York and Sydney. It has expanded the team by 30% to over 140 employees across its five locations.

The investment by Phoenix will allow Capital Economics to continue to accelerate its growth. Phoenix’s support will enable investments in new services and in technology to enhance and personalise client delivery. A number of potential acquisitions have also been identified.

Chris Neale, Partner at Phoenix, said: ‘Capital Economics is an exceptional business with outstanding economists and staff, and an unrivalled reputation for macro-economic insight. It has grown every year since inception, building up a global base of loyal repeat clients. Demand for high quality, independent research continues to increase and we are excited about the future potential of the business. We look forward to working with Bob and the team to help accelerate growth over the coming years.’

UK, London