Future plc has acquired two specialist consumer brands from Immediate Media: Co – CyclingNews.com and Procycling Magazine. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Launched in 1995, Cycling News has a brand reach of over 3.3 million and is, says Future, the world’s biggest pro-cycling website. Procycling launched in 1999 and publishes 13 print issues annually.
Future says it is dedicated to building specialist brands and that Cyclingnews and Procycling perfectly complement its consumer hobbies portfolio. According to Future, the cycling market is set to grow from £2.6bn to over £3bn by 2020. Public interest in professional cycling in the UK has grown during the past decade, buoyed by the success of Team GB and Team Sky during this period. With each of the Grand Tours of 2018 being won by British riders, the emerging success of Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates has further driven interest and enthusiasm for cycling within the UK. This has also been reflected in a good underlying trend in the UK cycling retail market, which has seen strong growth over this period and is forecast to continue to grow towards £3.0bn by 2020.
Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “The acquisition of these brands will expand our presence in the sport and outdoor leisure vertical and is a clear demonstration of our strategy to leverage enduring content on our technology platform to further diversify our revenue streams. Cycling News and Procycling are respected brands with leading market positions that will complement our existing portfolio whilst extending our reach into new adjacent communities. These brands are leading worldwide voices on professional cycling, offering analysis, insight, gorgeous photography and exclusive interviews with the industry greats.
“We have a proven methodology and track record of integration and we are confident that this deal will drive further growth in operating profitability and cash generation. You may remember that these brands were originally published by Future before we sold them to Immediate in 2014. Buying them back is a special moment for us to honour a piece of our heritage and a fantastic opportunity to expand our portfolio into the world of cycling.”
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