Hachette acquires SPCK’s Sheldon Press

Hachette UKHachette UK has acquired Sheldon Press, a specialist medical, mental health and self-help imprint of the Christian knowledge publisher SPCK. It will become part of John Murray Learning. The terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

John Murray Learning will be retaining the Sheldon Press brand and has committed to announcing a full reissue programme plus “ambitious” front-list plans “in the near future”.

Sheldon Press has over 150 titles in print, covering a large range of mental and physical health issues faced by individuals in the developed world. The list includes eight titles on the Reading Well ‘Books on Prescription’ recommended reading list and a number of prize-winning titles at the British Medical Association Book Awards. Among its best known titles are Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong by Tim Cantopher and Curing Arthritis the Drug Free Way by Margaret Hills.

Nick Davies, Managing Director of John Murray Press, said, “We are delighted to welcome the authors of Sheldon Press to Hachette UK. We already have an excellent reputation in mental and physical health publishing thanks to a number of market-leading titles on our John Murray Learning and Jessica Kingsley lists, and this reputation will only be enhanced by this new relationship with Sheldon. We plan to expand the range and scale of our publishing and look forward to taking these important books to new audiences in the months and years ahead.”

UK, London

RTL Netherlands acquires media company BrandDeli

RTL NetherlandsRTL Netherlands is to acquire BrandDeli, the sales house for the Discovery, Fox and Viacom brand portfolio for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is the result of RTL Netherlands, Discovery Benelux, Fox Networks Group Benelux and Viacom International Media Networks entering into a strategic sales partnership as of 1 January 2019.

RTL will be granted the right to sell advertising space for at least three years for the Discovery, Fox and Viacom brand portfolio, offering a wider range of spot time, branded partnerships and online (video and display) advertising space.

Advertisers will have access to a larger overall reach, especially in younger target groups in both daytime and prime time slots. Discovery, Fox and Viacom also keep the opportunity to sell their own airtime.

Ton Rozestraten, CCO RTL Netherlands, said, “In five years, BrandDeli has grown into a successful company that we look at with admiration. Cooperation enables us to market an even wider and more varied range of products with the beautiful brands that BrandDeli represents. It fits in with our growth strategy to strengthen our position as a local player within the globalising playing field. Like no other, we are able to reach the masses with high-quality programmes and digital propositions. By combining this strength with BrandDeli’s rich cross-media offering (apps, social media, linear TV and websites), we offer advertisers access to an even more varied and growing fan base.”

Netherlands, Hilversum & Amsterdam

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Providence acquires CloserStill Media for £340M

Providence EquityFollowing our earlier report, Providence Equity Partners has now acquired CloserStill Media, the previous owner of Clarion Events, for a reported £340 million.

The move comes after years of significant growth for the organiser, which was valued at £25 million in 2012 when Phoenix Private Equity bought into the company and £125 million in 2015 when Inflexion bought a minority stake.

Since the Inflexion investment in 2015 the organiser has made eight acquisitions – five in 2017 and three in 2018 – but CloserStill Chairman and CEO Phil Soar highlighted that the majority of the company’s growth has been organic. Much of the growth has come from the geo-cloning of successful shows in Asia, Germany and the US, with the launch of events such as Cloud Asia, Learning Technologies Germany and New York Vet.

In 2011 Providence acquired George Little Management in the US, which was then sold to Emerald Expositions in early 2014. In 2017 the company sold Clarion Events to Blackstone for a reported £600 million.

Andrew Tisdale, Managing Director at Providence, said, “CloserStill is an exceptional business led by a strong management team with a proven track record of developing and acquiring successful events around the world. With a compelling global portfolio and diverse customer base across the technology, learning and healthcare sectors, CloserStill is well-positioned to accelerate the momentum the business has generated to date. We are excited to partner with such a fantastic team and look forward to working together.”

USA, Providence, RI & UK, London

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Bertram Group acquires Education Umbrella in first bolt-on acquisition under new ownership

Bertram BooksThe Bertram Group has acquired Education Umbrella, a leading supplier of books and digital learning resources, in its first strategic bolt-on acquisition under its new ownership. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bristol-based Umbrella Education provides print and digital learning resources to schools around the world. Founded in 2011, the company has launched Education Umbrella Press, a digital publishing platform and technologies including TECbook, an online eBook system which converts books from top educational publishers into digital format and TECvideo, a video-based learning tool.

Chief financial officer of Bertram Group Nicholas Goodwin said: “We are delighted to announce Bertram Group’s strategic acquisition of Education Umbrella, a company which in a short time has grown to become one of the key players in its market. Education Umbrella is an exciting business that with sound financial backing has great potential for future development as part of Bertram Group.”

UK, Norwich & Bristol

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Euromoney acquires BoardEx and The Deal for $87.3M

EuromoneyEuromoney Institutional Investor plc is to acquire BoardEx and The Deal for $87.3 million, funded from its existing facilities.

BoardEx is an executive periling and relationship-mapping platform. It provides its users with detailed profiles of over one million of the world’s business leaders. The Deal is an information, data and intelligence platform. In the US, its digital subscription is one of the leading brands on the market in deal-driven intelligence. By combining the two platforms and integrating them with Euromoney’s existing portfolio, the company aims to create a powerful workflow tool to serve multiple industries.

CEO of Euromoney, Andrew Rashbass, said, “I am excited by the acquisition of BoardEx and The Deal, which brings two additional high-quality assets into Euromoney’s portfolio and supports our transition towards a next generation 3.0 business model. The businesses are perfectly placed to grow further under Euromoney ownership, with the Group’s existing data expected to enhance the BoardEx platform. We look forward to working with the management team and our new colleagues around the world to develop these leading brands and take advantage of the compelling growth opportunities they offer.”

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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Mark Allen completes deal with Rhinegold

Mark Allen GroupAfter several months’ negotiations, the Mark Allen Group has finalised the acquisition of various Rhinegold assets. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

These assets include: Choir & Organ, International Piano, Classical Music, Teaching Drama and Music Teacher, as well as the annual British Music Yearbook, the annual British Music Education Yearbook and the Music & Drama Expos in London and Manchester.

In a separate deal, MAG has also acquired from DC Thomson the goodwill of Opera Now, which previously was under licence to Rhinegold.

Mark Allen said: “We are pleased to have finally acquired these publications. They will add significantly to our current music portfolio which consists of Gramophone, Jazzwise and Songlines. We have exciting plans to develop these Rhinegold titles.”

UK, London

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Diversified Communications acquires Digital Construction Week

diversified communicationsDiversified Communications has acquired Digital Construction Week, adding to their building, construction and technology portfolio of events. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Digital Construction Week is the United Kingdom’s leading trade show dedicated to digital construction, engineering, design, manufacturing, and operation. The latest, and fourth edition, was held at ExCeL in London in October. It doubled its 2017 attendance, attracted 6,500 visitors, 200 exhibitors and 250 speakers, presenting across 6 stages with a dedicated conference stream. The next Digital Construction Week takes place at ExCeL London on October 17-18 2019.

This event complements Diversified’s industry leading event portfolio with market reach across four countries. Events include GEO Business in London, Commercial UAV Expo Europe in Amsterdam, DesignBUILD in Sydney, and in the United States: AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference and SPAR 3D in Anaheim, CA; International LiDAR Mapping Forum in Denver, CO; and Commercial UAV Expo Americas in Las Vegas, NV.

Diversified’s President & CEO, Theodore Wirth, said, “These synergies, in addition to our shared values and commitment to our customers through a long-term vision and industry expertise, make this a perfect fit. We are very pleased to welcome the event’s co-founders Luke Collings and Oliver Hughes and their talented show team to our growing UK division, under Managing Director Carsten Holm.”

USA, Portland, ME & UK, London