Business information and events group Centaur Media plc has acquired Investment Platforms, a specialist information business in the retail financial services sector. The purchase price is £1.8m, payable in cash at completion, and a further payment in cash subject to IPL’s profits in the year to 30 June 2014. The total purchase price will be capped at £6.3m.
IPL provides research data, analysis and advice on the subject of retail financial distribution and fund platforms, with a particular focus on financial wraps, or platforms that typically offer access to a range of asset types. It also organises events for product providers and intermediaries. The investment wrap and platform market has become one of the driving forces of the retail financial services industry in the past 10 years.
IPL was founded three years ago by vendor, Holly Mackay, who had previously developed and managed investment platforms for Merrill Lynch and Norwich Union in Australia before being appointed UK Director of Santander’s Allfunds Bank in 2005. IPL has quickly established itself as the leading source of information on this fast-growing specialist area and on retail investment distribution in general.Holly and her staff will remain with the business following the acquisition,
IPL’s revenues are currently generated principally through subscriptions to research reports, and from sponsorship and delegate revenues derived from events. Pro forma 2011 revenues and earnings before interest and tax (ebit) are £0.9m and £0.3m, respectively. The value of gross assets of IPL at completion amounted to approximately £0.4m. The acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing.
Geoff Wilmot, CEO of Centaur, said:
“This earnings enhancing acquisition is an excellent fit with us. IPL provides specialist information and advice to the retail funds and intermediary community, which is a core market for Centaur, served by our leading brands Money Marketing and Fund Strategy.
“This market is in a period of significant change following the completion of the Retail Distribution Review and IPL is the leading expert information provider in the field. Given our strong position in this market, we are ideally placed to provide IPL with full market distribution of its services. ”
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