LabX Media Group acquires G2 Intelligence from Plain Language Media

B2B science media company LabX Media Group has acquired the information services and event assets of G2 Intelligence from Plain Language Media LLLP. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Plain Language Media has retained The Licensing Letter, The Licensing Sourcebook and Licensing Deals & Data, plus its Medical Office Manager and Law Office Manager franchises.

In a statement this week, LabX Media Group CEO Bob Kafato said: “We are excited to formally announce a new addition to the LMG family, G2 Intelligence. G2 Intelligence is a digital content news platform that provides timely, accurate analysis of legal and regulatory news that directly affects the laboratory environment. The brand has a successful 30-year history of providing the diagnostic lab industry with print and digital newsletters, online information services, special reports, and live events. Above all else, G2 Intelligence aligns with our mission of helping scientists make the world better and is a fantastic fit for LabX Media Group, so we are thrilled to have them join our talented team.”

Canada, Ontario and Canada, British Columbia & USA, New London, CT & UK, London

A Fusion Deal: Uniquest sold to Keystone Education Group

UniQuest, a UK-based student engagement, conversion, and retention service, has been sold to the Keystone Education Group. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor to Uniquest. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Founded in 2013, UniQuest is led by co-founder & Chair Natalie Letcher and co-founder and CEO Rachel Fletcher, who will continue to oversee daily operations alongside Keystone’s executive leadership team. 

“With so much noise in the higher education sector for our university colleagues to deal with, not to mention growing student demand and increased student expectations, we provide confidence to our partners in what they’re doing despite all this change. We bring our focused and deep expertise in student engagement to Keystone. Combined with their impressive global footprint and student reach, together we will be able to help more universities around the world reach their student recruitment goals, delivering unparalleled student support,” said Rachel Fletcher, CEO of UniQuest.

“The combination of our business with Keystone will help accelerate our ability to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions. Together, we are even more well-positioned to help institutions remain competitive by enabling them to provide best-in-class, flexible support to prospective and current students,” Fletcher said.

“Combining UniQuest’s operations with Keystone’s recruitment services will enable us to offer extremely robust student recruitment, enrollment, and retention services to our 5 500 customer base, across our key geographic markets, including the US, the UK, and continental Europe,” said Erik Harrell, Keystone’s CEO.

“With the acquisition of UniQuest, we will be able to help our customers face their enrollment challenges head-on and gain an edge over their competition with the help of our end-to-end global student recruitment, enrollment, and retention services,” Harrell said.

“We are committed to serving as a strategic partner for our customers, acting more as an extension of their own recruitment and admissions teams than the traditional agency or third-party vendor models. For students, our extensive counseling services will ensure their journey to the classroom is as painless and informed as possible, helping them every step along the way.”

“This is a game-changer in the student counseling and recruitment space, presenting a unique opportunity for Keystone to disrupt and innovate the existing traditional counseling and agency model that has prevailed for years,” he said. 

“We will also be able to harness our combined data and insights from over millions of students every year to provide enhanced predictive modeling and forecasting to our customer base, making improvements along the entire recruitment value chain.” 

The deal comes at a time when institutions are facing growing enrollment challenges, from the impact of falling US domestic enrollments on US universities to the impact of Brexit on EU student applications to UK universities, all amidst a backdrop of ever-increasing global competition for student enrollments. 

The deal is the latest acquisition amid a flurry of organizational growth for the Keystone Education Group in 2021, and follows Keystone’s recent merger with EMG and acquisitions of FindAUniversity, College Scholarships USA (CSUSA), and AGM Education. 

Oslo, Norway & London, UK

GlobalData to acquire the Life Sciences business of IHS Markit

Data analytics and consulting company GlobalData Plc is to acquire the Life Sciences business of IHS Markit Ltd. (“LS”).

LS offers comprehensive and independent coverage of drug pricing, reimbursement and market access trends, as well as healthcare forecasts and healthcare economic data microsimulation modelling.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, completion is expected to occur during Q4 of 2021 and will be funded from the Group’s existing cash resources and banking facilities.

Commenting on the acquisition Mike Danson, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Life Sciences acquisition represents a strategic bolt-on to our already strong pharmaceuticals data, insights and analytics services. The addition of drug pricing data, as well as other critical Life Sciences data and analysis, further confirms our industry leading breadth and depth in the pharmaceuticals space.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new group of highly talented colleagues to the Group and wish them every success for the future within GlobalData”

Gustav Ando, Vice President and Head of Life Sciences at IHS Markit, added: “We are looking forward to becoming an integral part of the GlobalData Pharma and Life Sciences Team. This unique combination will enable us to provide our current and expanded client base with a much broader service offering, through synergy with existing GlobalData services, and on a single fully integrated platform.”

UK, London

ROAR B2B acquires Environment Media Group Ltd

ROAR B2B, the events and media group, has acquired Environment Media Group Ltd (EMG), the UK specialist media and events business focused on the waste management and environment sector. The deal will bring ROAR’s current event RWM into the same portfolio as LetsRecycle. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

EMG, which was founded in 2000, provides freely available topical news reports, legislative updates, and a range of events for those involved in delivering on the challenges faced in moving to a low carbon economy. The business is led by Rob Mowat, who has led the Company for close to 20 years. Mowat will stay with the business heading up the Environment portfolio at ROAR B2B.

ROAR B2B, operates in three main industry sectors, Business Technology, Social Care, and Environment. Headline events in their portfolio include RWM, Call & Contact Centre Expo, B2B Marketing Expo and Naidex. These events place a focus on sectors that are critical to how we live, communicate and work, both now and in the future. From effective management of the ageing population and large-scale commercial recycling to the technology of tomorrow.

Commenting on the acquisition, Duncan Kirk, CEO of ROAR B2B said “This acquisition represents a very exciting move for our business. We very much look forward to working with EMG, to integrate our existing offering and expand our capabilities going forward. Having admired and closely followed their progress, we are delighted to now have the opportunity to work with Rob and his team. Their knowledge and experience in the sector will be invaluable in realising our shared vision for the development and long-term growth of the business.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with ROAR B2B, this acquisition will allow us to continue growing our business” said Rob Mowat, Managing Director of EMG. “We look forward to working with the RWM team to form the No.1 media partner to the environment and waste management market.”

UK, London

Future plc acquires Dennis from Exponent Private Equity for £300 million

Future plc has acquired media subscriptions business Dennis from Exponent Private Equity LLP, for approximately £300 million.

The titles being acquired by Future are: The Week UK / The Week US, The Week Junior UK / The Week Junior US, MoneyWeek, Kiplinger, Science & Nature, IT Pro, Computer Active, PC Pro, Minecraft World, and Coach.

The four titles not being acquired by Future – Viz, Fortean Times, Cyclist and Expert Reviews – will be retained by the Vendors.

Dennis demonstrated strong growth in its financial year to 31 December 2020, reporting revenue of £104.8m, up 12% on 2019, and adjusted EBITDA of £20.0m, up 14% on 2019. This growth has continued into 2021 with revenue growth of 16% in the twelve months ended June 2021. Gross assets as at 30 June 2021 were £210m.

Expected cost synergies are £5m per annum, to be achieved by FY2023. They represent 25% of Dennis’ FY2020 EBITDA.

The purchase price of approximately £300m is to be satisfied in cash on completion (expected on 1 October 2021), subject to normal closing adjustments. Under the terms of the acquisition, the Vendors have agreed to pay Future a minimum of £8m and a maximum of £10m within 12 months of completion.

The acquisition is being funded via the Group’s debt facility, which was increased to £600m in July 2021 via an amend and extend exercise.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said: “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of a high-quality portfolio of Dennis’ trusted brands that will accelerate our strategy, enhance our content capabilities and bring additional geographical and vertical revenue diversification, whilst materially increasing the proportion of recurring revenues across the Group.

“The materially earnings enhancing acquisition is highly complementary to our longstanding ‘US first’ mindset and provides an attractive opportunity to scale our recently created ‘Wealth’ vertical, whilst diversifying our presence in our ‘Knowledge’ and ‘B2B Pro Technology’ verticals.

“I look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to Future, and to continuing the successful execution of our strategy to generate long-term sustainable growth and attractive returns for our shareholders.”

James Tye, CEO of Dennis, said: “In the three years that the business has been owned by Exponent, Dennis has been on an incredible growth journey, delivering double digit increases in subscription revenues, a greatly increased US footprint; and significant bottom-line increases. This is a testament to the talented team at Dennis who have helped make all of this happen.

“We look forward to working with the team at Future to continue growing the reach, influence and value of all our key brands and businesses.”

UK, London

AgriBriefing sells its UK agriculture division to Arc Media Holdings

AgriBriefing, the provider of agricultural commodity pricing benchmarks, analytics, and market data, has sold its UK agriculture division to Arc Media Holdings, a global events, data and media platform backed by investment funds managed by Eagle Tree Capital. It is Arc’s first acquisition in the UK. According to reporting on Flashes and Flames, Agribriefing was sold for £20 million.

The information assets which will transfer include Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer & Arable Farming alongside all related digital platforms plus events brands LAMMA, CropTec and the British Farming Awards.

Commenting on the transaction, Rory Brown, CEO of AgriBriefing said:

“While we are pleased to announce the next evolution of AgriBriefing, in many ways today is a bittersweet day. The acquisition of Farmers Guardian from UBM in 2012 represented the original pillar around which we have built our company and we are enormously proud of the job our teams have done over the past 10 years.

“Following discussions with Simon (Foster) and his team we quickly realised that they shared a similar underlying belief in the future of successful media and community platforms. We do not feel we could have found a better home for our transferring brands, and the teams who work on them. We will continue to cheer their future success from the sidelines as the UK agriculture business enters its next stage.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

Moody’s Corporation to acquire RMS from DMGT for $2 billion

Moody’s Corporation is acquiring RMS from Daily Mail and General Trust plc for approximately £1,425 million (approximately $2 billion). RMS is a global provider of climate and natural disaster risk modelling and analytics. It services the global property and casualty insurance and reinsurance industries.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2021, RMS generated £33 million adjusted operating profit and £38 million EBITDA from revenues of £242 million. Based on these figures, the acquisition is made for is a premium valuation of more than 30 times EBITDA.

Moody’s reports that, subject to final conformity to their accounting policies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021, RMS is expected to generate revenue of approximately $320 million and adjusted operating income of approximately $55 million.

The acquisition will immediately increase Moody’s insurance data and analytics business to nearly $500 million in revenue. RMS is expected to generate up to $150 million of incremental run-rate revenue by 2025.

“Today’s leaders face a complex, interlinked world of risks and stakeholders,” said Rob Fauber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Moody’s. “In the context of a global pandemic, the climate crisis and increasing cyberattacks, our customers must manage a wider range of risks than ever before. We are excited to add RMS and its team of world-class data scientists, modelers and software engineers to the Moody’s family to help accelerate solutions that enable customers to build resilience and make better decisions.”

Moody’s will fund the transaction through a combination of cash-on-hand and the issuance of new debt. The acquisition is expected to close in late 3Q 2021.

USA, New York, NY & Newark, CA & UK, London

News Corp to acquire OPIS

News Corp is to acquire the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and related assets from S&P Global and IHS Markit.

News Corp is acquiring OPIS for $1.15 billion in a cash transaction, subject to customary adjustments, and also expects to receive an estimated tax benefit of $180 million as part of the transaction. S&P Global and IHS Markit announced in May their exploration of the divestiture of the businesses to ensure a timely merger of both companies. News Corp’s acquisition of OPIS is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the consummation of the S&P Global and IHS Markit merger, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this calendar year. OPIS will become part of Dow Jones’ Professional Information Business (PIB), which includes Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones Newswires and Factiva. OPIS has a revenue base that is nearly 100% digital, 95% recurring and operates at approximately 50+% Adjusted EBITDA margins.

Founded in 1977, OPIS today is a global industry standard for benchmark and reference pricing and news and analytics for the oil, natural gas liquids and biofuels industries, and a growing provider of insights and analytics in renewables and carbon pricing. At its core, OPIS provides end-to-end pricing and analytics information to the energy industry from the refinery to the retailer.

“OPIS will be the cornerstone for a rising commodities, energy and renewables digital business that we are convinced will have a positive impact on Dow Jones and News Corp,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “We certainly believe OPIS and Dow Jones will be more than the sum of their valuable parts. Dow Jones is ideally positioned to accelerate growth at OPIS, while OPIS will be a powerful pillar, alongside Risk & Compliance, in the fast-growing Dow Jones Professional Information Business.”

OPIS and related assets revenues have grown at an approximate 10% CAGR, including acquisitions, since 2016, as disclosed by IHS Markit, and grew at a consistent rate through the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the 2014-2015 oil market downturn and the current pandemic. In its current fiscal year (ending November 30, 2021), OPIS is expected to generate approximately $129 million in revenues, Adjusted EBITDA margins exceeding 50%.In its fiscal year ended November 30, 2020, OPIS generated revenue and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $121 million and $61 million, respectively.

OPIS, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, also has offices in Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Romania and Singapore. The company employs approximately 400 professionals globally.

News Corp will report its full year 2021 results on August 5, 2021.

USA, New York, NY & USA, Rockville, MD

A Fusion Deal: MGP sold to WebMD Health Corp.

MGP, an award-winning publisher and multimedia company with over 26 years’ expertise in the dissemination of guidance-related content to support healthcare professionals across the NHS, has been sold to WebMD Health Corp. an Internet Brands company and a leader in health information services for physicians, other healthcare professionals and consumers. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor to MGP. The Fusion team was led by Mark Eisenstadt, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Fusion was fortunate to represent MGP, a fast growing market leader, that by providing must have clinical information, provides an invaluable service to medical professionals. Plugged in to the worldwide WebMD network, they will now exploit exciting synergies that will help expand both their offering and reach to further aid medical professionals in improving patient care. It was a pleasure to work with the highly professional and experienced management team who thoroughly deserve their reward. They have built a business that truly makes a positive contribution to healthcare and I look forward to the next chapter of the story.” Mark Eisenstadt, Fusion.

The acquisition combines the core competencies of MGP with that of Medscape, WebMD’s flagship global brand for healthcare professionals. Medscape and its affiliate network of platforms currently reach over 5 million physicians worldwide, of which over 4 million are outside the US. The addition of MGP will build on Medscape’s offerings of clinical news, health information, education and point-of-care tools to provide market-leading, multi-channel reach and engagement with doctors and other healthcare professionals across the UK.

Based in Chesham, UK, MGP’s content is designed to inform clinical decision-making and change clinical behaviour in line with best practice. The diverse offerings include Guidelines summaries, Guidelines in Practice expert articles and videos, the Guidelines Live conference and virtual events.

“Clinical guidelines are foundational to enhancing and improving patient care, and the addition of MGP further drives Medscape’s commitment to supporting UK doctors in clinical practice,” said Jeremy Schneider, Group General Manager, WebMD Global. “MGP and Medscape have the trust and the engagement of hundreds of thousands of UK healthcare professionals, driving clinical behaviour change. Through this transaction, we can leverage our combined strengths and scale to deliver robust, information-rich content to doctors and innovative solutions to customers.”

MGP will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Medscape as the companies build on and integrate products, platforms, and services.

USA, New York, NY & UK, Chesham, Buckinghamshire

Related Fusion media related deals

Sovereign Capital Partners backs AquaQ Analytics

Sovereign Capital Partners have backed AquaQ Analytics, a specialist data analytics and data science services business supporting global financial institutions. Sovereign has partnered with the management team to further grow the company’s international presence and develop its range of services. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2011, AquaQ works with its clients to optimise, develop and maintain their database technologies and take advantage of advanced data and analytics. The company, has long-term relationships with a number of leading financial institutions. It also has its own proprietary suite of software tools, TorQ.

AquaQ ‘s headquarters are in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The company has offices in the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong and employs over 180 staff.

Sovereign is backing founders Ronan Pairceir and James Bradley. Guy Warren joins the business as non-executive Chair. Guy is CEO of technology business ITRS, a former NED of White Clarke Group, ex-COO of FTSE Group and EVP of Misys Banking.

Uk, London & Belfast