Meredith sells Fortune magazine to Thai billionaire for $150M

MEREDITH CORPORATION LOGOU.S. media company Meredith Corp is selling Fortune magazine for $150 million in cash to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon, the second time the influential business magazine has changed hands this year. Best known for the “Fortune 500” list, the magazine was acquired by Meredith as part of its acquisition of Time Inc in January for $1.84 billion.

Jiaravanon is best known for his affiliation with Charoen Pokphand Group, or C.P. Group, a business conglomerate with stakes in the Thai telecommunications, food, retail and automotive industries.

The Fortune sale is expected to close before the end of the year and it will be a personal holding of Jiaravanon. In a statement, Jiaravanon said he wants to make Fortune “the world’s leading business media brand. The demand for high-quality business information is growing and with further committed investment in technology and brilliant journalism, we believe the outlook for further profitable growth is excellent both for the publication and the events business”.

Alan Murray, who has been editor of Fortune since 2014 and previously served as chief content officer of Time Inc., is becoming president and CEO of Fortune. He wrote on Twitter that he’s “delighted to have found a buyer for Fortune that shares our mission, our independence and will invest to make Fortune grow.”

USA, New York, NY

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UBM acquires 75% stake in ECMI ITE Asia for £2.8M

UBMUBMMG Holdings, a subsidiary of UBM, which recently became part of the Informa Group, has acquired ITE Group’s 75 per cent stake in Malaysia-based ECMI ITE Asia for a cash consideration of MYR 15m (approx. £2.8 million). The sale forms part of ITE’s Transformation and Growth (TAG) strategy.

ECMI runs the Cosmobeauté series of beauty trade exhibitions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, and the biennial Lab series of Scientific Instrument and Laboratory Equipment trade exhibitions in Malaysia and Indonesia.

ITE acquired a 50 per cent stake in ECMI in 2013. Under the terms of an existing arrangement with ECMI’s founder shareholders CP Saw and WP Cheong, the organiser acquired an additional 25 per cent stake in ECMI on 18 June 2018, taking its total shareholding to 75 per cent. With the acquisition by UBM, ITE has disposed of its entire 75 per cent holding in ECMI. The proceeds will be reinvested into the Group.

In the year to 30 September 2017 (which excludes the biennial Lab exhibitions), ECMI had gross assets of MYR 13.2 million (£2.5 million), reported a turnover of MYR 9.8 million (£1.8 million) and a loss before tax of MYR 0.4 million (£0.07 million). In ITE’s consolidated financial statements for the same period, ITE recognised a loss of MYR 0.13 million (£0.03 million) in respect of ECMI, presented within ‘share of results of associates and joint ventures’.

Mark Shashoua, CEO of ITE Group, said, “A key element of our TAG Programme is managing our portfolio of events, and this transaction marks a further step in delivering this strategy. We are pleased to have found a supportive Malaysia-based partner for ECMI’s events which can ensure the investment required for ECMI’s continued success.”

UK, London & Malaysia, Selangor

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Keywords Studios acquires AI and machine learning firm Yokozuna Data

keywordsKeywords Studios is purchasing Yokozuna Data, a developer of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, from Silicon Studio Corporation for US$1.5mln in cash, which includes all associated technology rights and trademarks.

Yokozuna’s technologies, which include a range of self-learning, predictive analytic models drawing on AI and machine learning tech, are designed to predict the behaviour of individual video game players and adapt themselves to changes made in the game. The models are also used to determine the likelihood of players abandoning the game and their propensity to buy items in the game. The firm also offers a management framework which allows game companies to adjust key parameters, record and view results, and to monitor key performance metrics of their games in live operation.

As part of the agreement, Keywords will collaborate with Yokozuna’s previous owner Silicon to introduce the technologies developed by the company to Japanese game developers and publishers, while also retaining the non-exclusive right to resell Yokozuna’s solutions to non-game markets (such as healthcare) in exchange for a share of associated revenues.

Andrew Day, Keywords’ chief executive, said that the company had been looking to “establish a foothold in…video game analytics for a few years”, and that while Yokozuna was pre-revenue, it was a “rare asset” with clients expected to start implementing the software in 2018. He added that as video games continued to transition to a service model from a product model, “the use of sophisticated analytics engines like this to automatically understand player behaviour and trigger real time decisions in-game will become increasingly valuable”, and that the use of AI to adapt predictive models in games based on in-game changes was “critical to the future of the video games industry”.

Ireland, Dublin & Japan, Tokyo

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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

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

 

Informa completes the takeover of UBM

InformaInforma has completed the takeover of UBM. The new Informa Group will employ more than 11,000 people. It will own and operate a portfolio of more than 500 exhibitions brands in 15 industry verticals including Health & Nutrition, Life Sciences & Pharma, and Real Estate & Construction. In addition, it will own a portfolio of confex/conference brands, a range of specialist information and intelligence brands; plus have capabilities in B2B consulting and marketing service.

The board of Informa will be as follows:

  • Derek Mapp (Non-Executive Chairman)
  • Greg Lock (Deputy Chairman)
  • Stephen A. Carter CBE (Chief Executive)
  • Gareth Wright (Group Finance Director)
  • Gareth Bullock (Senior Independent Non-Executive Director)
  • Mary McDowell (Non-Executive Director)
  • David Wei (Non-Executive Director)
  • Helen Owers (Non-Executive Director)
  • Cindy Rose (Non-Executive Director)
  • Stephen Davidson (Non-Executive Director
  • David Flaschen (Non-Executive Director)
  • John Rishton (Non-Executive Director)

Company announcements:

Previous reporting

UK, London

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Informa

UBM

 

UBM acquires majority economic interest of Shanghai International Franchise Exhibition

UBM SinExpoUBM Sinoexpo, a subsidiary of UBM plc, has acquired a 70% economic interest in the Shanghai International Franchise Exhibition, organised by Shanghai Exhibition-Conference Ltd.

Established in 2005, the biannual SFE is one of the largest franchising events in China, hosting 221 exhibitors with over 450 brands and 50,261 visitors in the spring 2018 edition. SFE’s exhibitors are mainly in the food, beverage and retail sectors which is reflective of the trends in the Chinese franchise market today. Every year investors, potential franchisees, distributors, agents, dealers, and social organisations attend the two events in search of new, foreign, and commercially attractive franchise brands for the domestic market.

According to the China Chain Store & Franchise Association, China’s top franchises generates total sales of RMB 428 billion from 124,068 stores across the country. Currently, China has over 4,500 franchises and chain store companies creating more than 5 million jobs nationwide. Foreign franchise brands are becoming increasingly interested in 2nd and 3rd tier Chinese cities given favourable labour costs, reasonably priced real estate facilities, and untapped consumer spending.

Jime Essink, President and CEO of UBM Asia, said, “Our combination with SFE comes at an opportune time given our complimentary resources and shows in China. The Spring edition of SFE has already successfully co-located with our Hotel Plus event at SNIEC for two editions and we plan to co-locate SFE’s autumn edition with Food & Hotel China this November. The synergies and crossovers between professionals in the food, beverage, and retail sectors of these collocated events creates a complete and compelling industry value chain opportunity for visitors and exhibitors.”

The next edition of SFE will take place on 13-15 November 2018 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

Shanghai

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