Reed Business Information acquires Ascend

Fusion DigiNet has mainly reported on RBI selling businesses over the last year. For the second time in a month we are able to report on an RBI acquisition.

Reed Business Information, publisher of www.flightglobal.com, Flight International and Airline Business magazines, ACAS and Air Transport Intelligence, has acquired Ascend Worldwide Group Holdings Limited. Ascend will be integrated with RBI’s aerospace information and data services business, Flightglobal.

Ascend, headquartered in London with offices in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo, delivers aircraft and engine data through online subscription services and provides valuations, appraisals and advisory services to a world-wide client base spanning aviation investors and financiers, lessors, manufacturers, operators and suppliers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, it is likely that the deal works very well for Ascend’s private equity backer, Lloyds Development Capital. LDC acquired its initial holding in Ascend when in 2005 it backed a £10 million MBO of Airclaims, the provider of aviation claims, risk and asset management services. In July 2006, the information and consultancy division of Airclaims was re-branded “Ascend”. In August 2007, Ascend began trading as a separate entity.

Over the past five years Ascend has undergone rapid expansion. Ascend’s revenues have risen by 20% per annum over the previous three years and the number of employees has increased by 50%. In April 2010 LDC injected new capital and increased its stake in Ascend. The new capital commitment doubled LDC’s total investment in the company to £12million. LDC still owns Airclaims.

Ascend brings to Flightglobal an impressive position in the global air finance market,” says Jane Burgess, RBI managing director. “This exciting acquisition adds important new data assets and expertise to Flightglobal’s existing aviation data business and provides Ascend with access to Flightglobal’s powerful global aviation audience and extensive marketing capabilities.”

“I am very excited about the opportunities that the combination of Ascend and Flightglobal will bring.” says Gehan Talwatte, Ascend CEO. “By combining our insight and expertise with Flightglobal’s growing global audience, distribution capabilities and unrivalled media presence, we can significantly extend the reach of the Ascend brand.”

Further reading – Alasdair Whyte’s blog

UK, London

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