Reed Business Information sells New Scientist

New ScientistReed Business Information (RBI) has sold New Scientist and its associated products and events to Kingston Acquisitions Limited, a company established by the former management team of Times Educational Supplement for the purpose of acquiring New Scientist. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

First published in 1956, New Scientist is a weekly science and technology magazine. The magazine covers current developments, news, reviews and commentary on science and technology. It also publishes speculative articles, ranging from the technical to the philosophical. A readers’ letters section discusses recent articles, and discussions also take place on the website. It has an average circulation (ABC audit) of 125,000, 82% print and 18% digital. 56% of it circulation is in the UK and Ireland, 44% ROW.

Kingston Acquisitions is led by by Sir Bernard Gray. Gray spent nearly ten years as a journalist at the Financial Times Group, including as a defence correspondent. Later he became chief executive of UBM’s, CMP Information. In 2005 Gray was appointed chief executive of TSL Education Limited, publisher of the Times Educational Supplement, when it was acquired by Exponent. He has been a defence adviser on defence spending to both the labour and conservative governments.

RBI is part of Relx (formerly Reed Elsevier). Relx has sold off the majority of its magazine publishing businesses. Its strategy is to move away from print revenues and instead to develop information-based analytics and decision tools that deliver enhanced value to customers.

UK, London

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Euromoney acquires a 49% stake in BroadGroup

Euromoney has acquired an initial 49% stake in BroadGroup, a London-based events and publishing business operating in the fast-growing area of data centre and cloud services, together with their financing. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BroadGroup was founded in 2002 by an entrepreneur Philip Low who, over the past decade, has successfully built and hosted a series of events for data centre, cloud and IT infrastructure executives. In June, BroadGroup hosts its flagship event, Datacloud Global Congress, an annual event in Monaco attended by delegates from more than 50 countries and has additional events in the Nordic and Asia markets. It is the leading networking and deal making forum for data centre and cloud IT infrastructure end-users, software, solutions providers, investors and a broad range of companies engaged in the sector.

BroadGroup will be managed as part of Rosalind Irving’s Telcap portfolio, expanding Euromoney’s presence in the telecoms markets.

Rosalind Irving stated: “We admire the position in the market occupied by BroadGroup’s events and we feel that the business has excellent growth potential. This can be maximised by our two organisations joining forces to offer a valuable series of events for the dynamic and rapidly developing telecoms market”

“BroadGroup is focused on continued growth in data centre markets globally, and this exciting project joining forces with Euromoney allows us to accelerate the expansion of our flagship brands to become leaders in each region,” said Philip Low, chairman. “This new opportunity reinforces our strategy to deliver value for our customers, sponsors and delegates at events around the world.”

UK, London

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Euromoney acquires RISI, a leading price reporting agency, for $125 million

Euromoney PLCEuromoney Institutional Investor is to acquire RISI, the price reporting agency for the global forest products market, for $125 million in cash.

Founded in 1985, RISI has been part of AXIO Group, an Epiris Managers’ business, since 2013. RISI is headquartered in USA, Bedford, Massachusetts, and employs 150 people across the United States, China, Belgium, Finland and Brazil.

risiIts product suite consists of pricing data, mill intelligence and analytics as well as news, research and conferences covering the pulp, packaging, wood products, wood fibre and saw logs markets. Its price indices are critical to the daily business operations and trading activities of major paper and board, packaging and other forest-product companies. 

 RISI’s products are embedded in the workflows of its customers who use RISI’s information to price physical transactions and inform their strategic decisions. Many of RISI’s 2200 price series are used as the main settlement mechanism in industry contracts. 

In calendar year 2016 RISI’s unaudited revenues were $29.6 million and its unaudited EBITDA was $7.7 million. RISI’s revenues are derived predominantly from selling subscription products and have high revenue renewal rates. RISI’s unaudited gross assets at December 31, 2016 were $29.8 million.  

On completion, Euromoney will pay $125 million in cash for RISI, funded from its existing revolving credit facility.  Completion is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino approval in the United States, which is expected to take approximately four weeks. The acquisition is expected to be earnings-enhancing for Euromoney in its current financial year.

RISI will be managed as part of a new Price Reporting Division, alongside Metal Bulletin Group (Metal Bulletin, American Metal Market and Industrial Minerals), and will report into Raju Daswani, CEO of Metal Bulletin Group and head of the new Price Reporting Division.

Andrew Rashbass, CEO of Euromoney, said: “The acquisition of RISI is another important step in Euromoney’s strategy of building a portfolio of leading price reporting agencies in growing international markets. RISI is a very high-quality business which Euromoney is perfectly placed to grow further. We look forward to working with RISI management and employees around the world to offer the company’s customers products of the highest value.”

In its recent strategy update, Euromoney highlighted price discovery as a key investment theme. The acquisition of RISI follows the acquisition in August last year of FastMarkets, a provider of real-time metals market pricing information.

UK, London & USA, Bedford, MA

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Informa acquires Yachting Promotions for £106M

flibsInforma is to acquire Yachting Promotions Inc. (“YPI”) from Active Interest Media, a privately-owned specialist US media group backed by PE firm Wind Point Partners. The YPI portfolio includes the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest in the world, plus Yachts Miami Beach, Palm Beach International Boat Show, Suncoast Boat Show and the St Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show.

Information will pay a cash consideration of $133m (£106m), including $5m which is subject to the business meeting performance and operating targets. Based on its results in the 12 months ended 31 December 2016, this represents a trailing acquisition multiple of 11.5 times EBITDA. The business also brings with it around $40m of net operating losses that are deductible for US tax purposes over a number of years, equating to a net present value of $33.9m. The inclusion of these tax assets implies a multiple of 8.6 times EBITDA.

Stephen A. Carter, Informa Group Chief Executive, said: “Following three years of private discussions, we are delighted to bring YPI into the Group. It will deepen our leadership in the growing international yachting and boating sector, with its attractive exhibitions complementing our existing ownership of the Monaco Yacht Show.”

On completion, the addition of YPI will make Informa’s Global Exhibitions Division the largest contributor to Group revenues and profit, with annual sales of more than £500m. The Division operates a portfolio of about 200 exhibition brands. 

The acquisition further increases Informa’s scale in the US, where the Group has been buying and building a position over recent years through a combination of organic investment and a series of targeted acquisitions in verticals including Construction & Real Estate (Hanley Wood Exhibitions, WWETT), Natural Products (Virgo, Penton), Agriculture (Penton), Life Sciences (FIME) and Pop Culture (Orlando MegaCon, Dallas Comicon). Following the addition of YPI, on a pro-forma basis the US is expected to represent more than 50% of Group revenues and also over half of the Global Exhibitions Division.

The consideration will be funded through existing debt facilities. It is anticipated that the Group’s net debt to EBITDA ratio will be around 2.6 times immediately following completion, falling within the Group’s target range of 2.0 times to 2.5 times by the end of 2017. Completion is expected by early March. 

Note: On 6 March, Informa will announce full-year results for the 12-month period ending 31 December 2016.

UK, London & USA, El Segundo, CA

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ZPG Plc acquires Expert Agent

zpgZPG Plc has acquired Expert Agent. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Established in 2003, Expert Agent provides cloud-based software solutions and systems for the day-to-day management of inventory, marketing and communications for estate agents and lettings agents across the UK. 

expertagentUntil February 2017 ZPG Plc was called Zoopla Property Group Plc. The company is already the owner of Zoopla, uSwitch, PrimeLocation, Hometrack and Property Software Group.

Expert Agent will continue to operate as a standalone platform and brand and the team will become part of the Property Services division of ZPG.

Mark Goddard, Managing Director, ZPG Property Services said, “This acquisition helps us continue to enhance the services we offer to UK property professionals, including software and CRM, digital marketing and data insight tools. We will integrate our MoveIT and MyPropertyFile products into the Expert Agent platform in time to provide its members with a range of new revenue opportunities. Our ambition is to be the most effective partner to the UK property industry and this deal is another step towards that goal. We look forward to welcoming Mike and his team to the ZPG family.”

UK, London

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Keywords Studios acquires Spov 

keywordsKeywords Studios, a technical services provider to the video games industry, has acquired Spov Ltd. for up to £1.2 million in cash from its founder, Allen Leitch. Based in London, UK, Spov provides creative development, cinematics, UI, visual effects and motion graphics services to the video game and film markets. ()

Founded in 2007 by Allen Leitch, Spov maintains a small team of creatives in London and manages a network of experienced designers, animators, film makers and artists to produce intricate footage for use in video games, film and TV. The company has worked on titles that include Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Watch Dogs, The Division, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare; Batman: Arkham Knight and Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

 Fred Stockton, Global Art Service Line Director, Keywords Studios commented: “We are thrilled to have Allen and the Spov team of talented creative professionals join the Art Service Line at Keywords Studios.  Their skills and experience will enhance our ability to provide a broader range of services to our clients.  Likewise, we look forward to meeting with Spov clients to share with them the full spectrum of capabilities that Keywords Studios has to offer.  This acquisition will strengthen our market position as a leading provider of digital art services and will contribute to our continuing growth in this area.”

Ireland, Dublin & UK, London

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Ascential plc acquires MediaLink for up to $207M

ascentialAscential plc the B2B media company, is to acquire US-based media advisory and business services provider MediaLink for an initial cash price of $69 million plus earnouts.

The earnouts are payable over the period to February 2021 based on the adjusted EBITDA of the business for the three years 2017 to 2019 and are expected to total between $42m and $62m. The earnouts are payable in cash or, for certain elements, shares at Ascential’s option and a portion of the earn-out payments is subject to founders remaining in employment with the company. The total aggregate consideration, including initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at $207m and requires stretching profit targets to be reached.

MediaLink reported unaudited revenue of $54 million and adjusted PBT of $14 million in 2016, with year-on-year growth of 29% and 24% respectively, and had gross assets of $11 million at December 2016.

The company serves the consumer goods and services segment and operates from four offices in the U.S. Michael Kassan founded Medialink in 2003, he will continue to run the business.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Ascential plc, said: “MediaLink is a leader in its industry, with a strong and very visible brand presence in the US. MediaLink is an excellent fit with our existing Ascential offering and I am confident we can help accelerate MediaLink’s business into new markets by using our assets and infrastructure over the coming months and years. I see synergies between MediaLink and our portfolio of products to significantly help accelerate our existing businesses and create additional value for shareholders.”

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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