A Fusion Deal: Venues & Events Live sold to Ocean Media Group

squaremeal-v-e-2018Venues & Events Live, the UK’s leading events industry trade show and networking opportunity for corporate event organisers, has been sold by Monomax Limited to Ocean Media Group Limited, the London based events and digital information business. Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion, acted exclusively for Monomax Limited, the owner of Venues & Events Live Limited. The terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Launched in 2005, Venues and Events Live attracts over 7,000 attendees in a business-focused but energetic environment. Venues and Events Live takes place at Old Billingsgate, London, over 2 days in September each year. With around 200 leading industry exhibitors, plus a full programme of features and workshops. Venues and Events Live is widely recognized as the key exhibition for anyone who organises corporate events.

In December 2016, Fusion also acted for the owners of Monomax Limited on the sale of Imbibe Media Limited to Reed Exhibitions, part of RELX Group. Imbibe Media Limited was the organisation behind Imbibe Live, the Imbibe media platforms, and the successful annual Sommelier Wine Awards.

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Paul Kelly

Speaking about the sale, Fusion’s Paul Kelly said, “It was a pleasure to work with Simon White and Mark de Wesselow again. Venues & Events Live is a fantastic show for corporate event organisers; it delivers a great mix of education, inspiration and ideas as well as countless opportunities to network, foster relationships learn and pick up practical tips. I wish them every success.

UK, London

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THQ Nordic acquires German game developer and publisher HandyGames

THQ NordicTHQ Nordic has acquired the game developer and publisher HandyGames, headquartered in Giebelstadt, Germany.

THQ Nordic GmbH is acquiring 100% of the shares for a total cash consideration of 1 million euro. In addition, the parties have agreed a potential performance based earnout of up to 1.5 million euro.

Founded in 2000, HandyGames has released more than 150 games on a multitude of platforms, using a wide range of technologies. Current game development is focused on iOS, Android, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, tablet computers, Android TV, Wearables as well as digital-only releases on next generation consoles. The company currently has about 50 employees.

HandyGames will continue operating as a developer and publisher for value-priced projects under the management of THQ Nordic GmbH in Vienna.

THQ Nordic MD Klemens Kreuzer said, “It is a true win-win situation for all parties involved, as HandyGames perfectly complements the setup of the rest of our group as the new ‘go to’-publisher for small- and mid-sized developers and projects and will benefit from our network and infrastructure in return. In joining forces with HandyGames, THQ Nordic is tapping into the VR Games segment, and gains access to one of Europe’s most powerful mobile games distribution network”.

Austria, Vienna & Germany, Geibelstadt

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Electronic Arts acquires Industrial Toys

Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts Inc. has acquired Industrial Toys, a creative team of experienced game makers based in Pasadena, California. Led by Alex Seropian, founder and former CEO of Bungie Studios and former executive at Disney Interactive, the team is known for developing unique game ideas on different devices, and they join EA with a continued focus on bringing new game concepts to life. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The 14-person Industrial Toys studio is joining EA’s Worldwide Studios organisation, the global creative collective responsible for development of EA titles across all major platforms.

Samantha Ryan, SVP and Group GM in EA’s Worldwide Studios group said, “Creating breakthrough games takes passionate developers and incredible creativity, and each time we’ve worked with the Industrial Toys team, we’ve been inspired by their unique approach. We’re thrilled to have them join our studio organisation, pursue new ideas together and bring amazing new games to our players.”

USA, Redwood, CA & Pasadena, CA

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XLMedia acquires InvestorJunkie.com for $5.8M

XLMediaXLMedia, a provider of digital performance marketing, is to acquire InvestorJunkie.com, a US personal finance website for US$5.8 million.

InvestorJunkie is a website focused on providing information and reviews of various investment channels and financial products, including banking, stock brokers, robo advisors, lending, retirement accounts and more. The acquisition is expected to complete in the second half of 2018.

InvestorJunkieOry Weihs, Chief Executive Officer of XLMedia, commented: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of InvestorJunkie, a very well known brand in North America. The U.S. personal finance market is a key growth market for our business, and this latest acquisition reaffirms our commitment to further diversify our revenue base. We are continuing to build a strong foothold in the North American market and look forward to accelerating our growth strategy to further leverage both our skillset and technology platform in what is a relatively nascent sector.”

UK, Jersey, St. Helier & USA, Long Beach, NY

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Uzabase to acquire business news outlet Quartz for between $75 and $110M

Uzabase QuartzUzabase, a Japanese business intelligence and media company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, is to acquire Quartz, a global business news outlet created and owned by Atlantic Media. The deal values Quartz between $75 and $110 million depending on achievement of future financial and operating performance in 2018. The deal expected to close within the next 30 days.

Quartz is a guide to the new global economy for business professionals. Founded in 2012, staff numbers around 215 around the world, including around 100 journalists, with presence in New York, London, Nairobi, New Delhi, Hong Kong, and San Francisco.

Quartz Co-President and Editor in Chief Kevin J. Delaney and Co-President and Publisher Jay Lauf — will become Co-CEOs of Quartz, reporting to Uzabase and NewsPicks Founder and CEO Yusuke Umeda. Quartz Chief Revenue Officer Joy Robins and Chief Product Officer and Executive Editor Zach Seward will continue in their positions. Quartz will retain its name and brand and continue operating from its New York City headquarters.

Quartz will assume responsibility for the English-language version of NewsPicks on behalf of Uzabase. NewsPicks is a subscription business news platform and one of Uzabase’s two core businesses. The other is SPEEDA, a financial business-intelligence service.

“We created Quartz to be a new kind of news organization, pioneering better ways to serve readers with innovative news products and smart journalism from around the world. We’re proud of our accomplishments since 2012 and are really excited about this ambitious new chapter working with NewsPicks as part of Uzabase,” said Mr. Delaney.

Atlantic Media will continue to provide corporate support to Quartz through a transition period of at least 12 months following the acquisition. Atlantic Media Chairman and owner David Bradley will continue to work with the company as a senior advisor and shareholder. Bradley, with Atlantic Media President Michael Finnegan, will continue to own and operate the privately held holding company’s other businesses, National Journal Group, Government Executive Media Group, and The Atlantic. (Emerson Collective is the majority owner of The Atlantic.)

Uzabase was founded in 2008 by former investment bankers Yusuke Umeda and Ryosuke Niino, as well as Yusuke Inagaki, a former IT consultant. The company’s primary products are NewsPicks, a subscription business news platform, and SPEEDA, a B2B financial information and corporate intelligence platform.

Japan, Tokyo & USA, New York, NY

Entertainment One completes acquisition of Sierra Pictures

Entertainment OneEntertainment One has completed the purchase of the remaining stake in feature film production and global sales company Sierra Pictures, in which it first invested in 2015. As part of the move, Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg have joined the company as president of film and executive VP of film and global operations, respectively. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sierra Pictures has backed the likes of “Tully,” “American Animals,” and the upcoming adaptation of James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces.” In his new role, Meyer will oversee all film content across eOne, while remaining CEO of Sierra/Affinity, the international sales company that is wholly owned by eOne. Schaberg will also continue as COO of Sierra/Affinity in addition to taking on his new role at eOne. Sierra/Affinity will remain independently operated.

eOne’s CEo Darren Throop said, “Welcoming Sierra to eOne is an important next step in our strategy to increase our direct involvement and ownership in content. Together, we will continue to build strong relationships with high-profile creative talent domestically and abroad”.

Canada, Toronto & USA, Beverly Hills, CA

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Penguin Random House India acquires Hind Pocket Books

PenguinPenguin Random House India has acquired Hind Pocket Books, one of the oldest and most respected Hindi language publishers in the country.

Established in 1958, Hind Pocket Books are widely considered as pioneers in publishing Hindi and Urdu paperbacks in India, and have an extensive list of critically acclaimed and commercially successful titles. They have published some of the most renowned authors from the subcontinent and across the world, including Amrita Pritam, Shivani, Acharya Chatursen, Gulshan Nanda, Narendra Kohli, Khushwant Singh, R K Narayan, Dr Radhakrishnan, Dominique Lapierre, Osho, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ruzbeh Bharucha, Wayne Dyer, to name a few, and their titles and authors have won several prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, the Sahitya Akademi Awards, and the Jnanpith Award.

Markus Dohle, Chef Executive Officer Penguin Random House said, “We are thrilled to welcome Hind Pocket Books to the Penguin Random House global family of publishers. Our operations in India have been a success story for us, and this acquisition represents our commitment to expand our local-language publishing as we continue to implement our global strategy of growing in our key markets such as India”.

India, Haryana & New Delhi