RX acquires 3rd Street Group, organisers of Big Data LDN

RX (formerly Reed Exhibitions) has acquired 3rd Street Group Ltd, the owners and organisers of Big Data LDN.

Big Data LDN is one of the UK’s largest data and analytics conferences and exhibitions, hosting leading data, analytics experts and suppliers. The event brings together the data and analytics community in a unique exhibition format for the sector, including a superior, end user-led conference programme. The event takes place in the autumn at Olympia.

Big Data LDN will join the RX portfolio in the UK, with founder Bill Hammond remaining as its event director. 

Announcing the acquisition, Hugh Jones, RX CEO, said: “Despite the impact that the pandemic has had on the events industry, we continue our longstanding tradition of acquiring key events in growth sectors and markets. Big Data LDN is a perfect fit for our portfolio, and I am delighted that Bill and his team will be joining RX to develop Big Data LDN even further. Their professionalism, knowledge and dedication are astonishing, and I’m excited to work with them to grow this event in the coming years.” 

Bill Hammond, founder of 3rd Street Group Ltd, said: “The global big data and business analytics sector continues to grow in the UK. Joining RX will enable us to build the event exponentially with support from RX’s suite of technology platforms, global network and operations expertise. A key issue within big data remains security and privacy and I look forward to working with RX UK’s existing Infosecurity brand to deliver even more value to our customers across the data and analytics sector. It’s going to be an exciting growth period for us and we can’t wait to get started.”

UK, London

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With Intelligence (Pageant Media) – multiple acquisitions since February 2020

In February 2020, Intermediate Capital Group took majority control of the UK’s Pageant Media for a reported £106.5 million in a deal which is believed to have valued the company at £145m. It was the first investment by ICG’s Europe Mid-Market Fund, which closed in late 2019 at €1 billion

Pageant Media, now rebranded as With Intelligence, was privately owned by its CEO Charlie Kerr, who founded the business in 1998. The company’s business model at the time of IMG’s investment included a membership programme in which financial professionals pay an annual fee to receive news, information, and data, and attend invitation-only events. The company organised around 200 events per year and had reported £32 million in revenues in 2019. It had more than 2,500 institutional clients worldwide and had 240 people across its offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, and Cardiff.

Since then, Pageant Media has gone on to make a number of acquisitions, including:

  1. May 2020 – Eurekahedge from the Mizuho Bank, of Japan. Based in Hong Kong, Eurekahedge had annual revenues of $5 million and an operating profit of around $1 million. The company, which was founded in 2001, offers a database of information on hedge funds and offers the Eurekahedge fund indices.
  2. November 2020 – Falk Marques Group (now rebranded With Intelligence) acquired from Beth Falk and Raul Marqués who jointly founded the business in 2006. Falk Marques Group produces conferences and networking forums that are focused on advancing women in the private equity, venture capital and alternative investment communities. It launched the Women’s Private Equity Summit in 2008 and its sister event, the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit in 2009. Falk Marques Group had around $4 million revenue. Pageant Media are reported to have made an initial payment of $4 million. This to be followed by an earn-out which may eventually value the business at $20 million.
  3. June 2021 – the acquisition of Pension Funds Online. The business organises up-to-date financial and contact information for pension funds, in the UK and Europe, through a modern, searchable digital interface. First produced in print form in 1978, as the so-called Blue and Red Books, the online database is today used by asset managers, investment consultants and other service providers to drive their investor outreach strategies.
  4. June 2021 – Hedge Fund Alert acquired from Green Street. Hedge Fund Alert is read by hedge funds, prime brokers, and other service providers to get the earliest look at key dealings and intelligence in the hedge fund arena. The U.S.-based publication now sits alongside HFM and Eurekahedge.
  5. August 2021 – UK-based Savvy Investor from its owner Andrew Perrins for a reported £6 million initial payment and a further £2 million based on performance targets. Savvy Media is a knowledge network for institutional investors, providing members with access to a deep resource of white papers and articles covering global investment and pensions issues. It had £2 million in revenue and £800k EBITDA.

With Intelligence is now a global business information organisation, focused on the asset management industry. Now with over 450 people in seven offices across three continents, the product portfolio includes data, insight and events, and has grown to cover hedge funds, private equity, real estate, private debt, and traditional asset management, with more than 3,000 institutional customers worldwide.

UK, London

Emerald Holdings acquired MJBiz

Emerald Holding has acquired MJBiz, the event producer and content platform serving the wide range of companies operating in the cannabis industry. Emerald paid $120 million as initial consideration upon closing of the transaction, with potential future payments contingent on the performance of MJBiz through 2022.

Founded in 2011, MJBiz produces MJBizCon, the oldest and leading B2B cannabis trade show in America, the Emerald Conference and related media brands including MJBizDaily, Hemp Industry Daily and MJBiz Magazine.

In 2021, MJBiz’s revenues were approximately $27 million, which were near pre-pandemic levels. MJBizCon featured more than 1,200 exhibiting companies and 27,000 attendees, including over 18,000 paid registrations, at the October 2021 event.

The MJBiz platform delivered 38% compound annual revenue growth in the three years prior to the pandemic (2017-2019). In addition to operating the cannabis industry trade show, the MJBiz brand is a source for actionable business intelligence in the cannabis industry.

MJBiz management, including CEO Chris Walsh, Senior Vice President of Events and Sales, Jess Tyler, and Senior Vice President of Content and Audience Development, Pam Moore, will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the business. MJBiz co-founders and Board members, Cassandra Farrington and Anne Holland, will continue to consult with the business.

Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s President and CEO, said, “We have long admired MJBiz’s sterling reputation for being the most trusted event and content producer serving the business side of the cannabis and hemp industries and their respective participants. MJBiz’s leading event and content portfolio coupled with their 365-day engagement platform, which connects the entire cannabis supply chain, will diversify our collective product offerings, enhance our growth profile and enable us to deliver even greater value to our customers over the long term.”

USA, San Juan Capistrano, CA & Lakewood, CO

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

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

dmg media acquires New Scientist for £70M

dmg media has acquired New Scientist, one of the world’s leading science publishing titles, from a consortium of individual investors led by Sir Bernard Gray, for £70m cash consideration. 

New Scientist, first published on 22 November 1956, is a magazine that covers all aspects of science and technology. Based in London with offices in the USA and Australia, it has a weekly circulation of approximately 120,000, of which just over half are UK-based. In 2021 the business is expected to generate cash operating income and operating profit of approximately £7 million and revenues are expected to exceed £20 million. Around 75% of the revenue base is derived from subscriptions. The business also runs international events including New Scientist Live.

Lord Rothermere, Chairman of DMGT, said: “New Scientist is a world-renowned publication loved by its readers, and we are both thrilled and proud to welcome it to the DMGT family.  They are a specialised and talented team who showcase the best of science journalism, bringing integrity, curiosity and craftmanship to their work.  We are very much looking forward to supporting their exciting plans to grow as the go-to publication for anyone interested in the scientific world around us.”  

Paul Zwillenberg, DMGT CEO, added: “The acquisition of New Scientist marks an exciting new addition to the DMGT portfolio and reflects our disciplined approach to acquisitions.  It is a natural step in our consumer strategy to improve the quality of our revenues through building up subscriptions and digital capabilities. We are committed to supporting the talented team and their plans for the future and are confident that the business is well positioned for future growth.” 

UK, London

Daily Mail and General Trust plc sells EdTech business business Hobsons in two separate transactions

Daily Mail and General Trust plc is to sell Hobsons, its EdTech business, in two separate transactions, for total proceeds of approximately $410 million.

Hobsons’ Naviance and Intersect businesses are being sold to US-based PowerSchool, a provider of K-12 education technology solutions, for approximately US$320m, and are expected to be part of PowerSchool’s unified platform.

Hobsons’ Starfish business, after an internal restructuring where it will be spun-out from the rest of Hobsons, is being sold to EAB, a US-based education company, for approximately US$90m.

In FY 2020, Hobsons generated £6m adjusted operating profit from revenues of £85m.

Paul Zwillenberg, DMGT CEO, commented: “These two transactions mark another major milestone in DMGT’s transformation and are a clear demonstration of the benefits of our strategy. Hobsons was restructured in 2017 to focus on high-growth opportunities in Student Success. The combination of operational execution and organic investment drove a significant increase in capital value.

Consistent with our strategy, the divestitures will increase the focus of the DMGT portfolio, resulting in the Group operating in four sectors, compared to ten in 2016. The proceeds will strengthen DMGT’s existing net cash position, further enhancing DMGT’s significant financial flexibility.”

UK, London & USA, & USA, Folsom, CA & USA, Washington, DC

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Reed Exhibitions acquires ITS America’s World Congress and Annual Meetings

ITSDC2019_Annual MeetingReed Exhibitions has acquired two events from Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) — the North American-based ITS World Congress and Annual Meetings. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“I am delighted to announce this landmark acquisition and look forward to starting a long-term strategic relationship with the Intelligent Transportation Society of America,” said Hervé Sedky, president of Reed Exhibitions Americas. “We will work together to enhance these market-leading shows and adding value to ITS America’s growing membership base.”

Launched in 1993, ITS World Congress brings together policymakers, entrepreneurs, researchers, academics and investors from the global intelligent transportation and mobility communities for policy discussions on the latest transportation and mobility trends, products and technologies, technical tours and demonstrations, and networking.

ITS American will continue to lead, manage and deliver content for both events. The first joint event with Reed Exhibitions and ITS America is due to take place Oct. 4-8 at Los Angeles Convention Center. With the theme, “The New Age of Mobility,” it will focus on how new technologies and forms of mobility are transforming transportation, ensuring that the future is safer, greener and smarter. Featured technologies will include connected and automated vehicles, privacy and data access, cybersecurity, infrastructure, artificial intelligence and more. About 10,000 ITS professionals from 65 countries, along with 300 exhibiting companies, are expected.

With this acquisition, Reed Exhibitions continues to grow its portfolio of more than 500 events across 30 countries in sectors including security, transportation, lifestyle, media and energy. Will Wise, group vice president of security and technology events, will be Reed Exhibitions’ lead for the ITS America events.

USA, Washington, D.C. & New York, NY

 

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Comexposium JV acquires the Indonesia Motorcycle Show (IMOS)

Seven Event, a joint venture platform between Comexposium with Amara Pameran International (API), has acquired the Indonesia Motorcycle Show (IMOS). The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

President Director Seven Event Romi explained that the acquisition is the final step to develop the internationally acclaimed auto show, “GIIAS (GAIKINDO Indonesia International Auto Show) needs to further grow as a brand and become a solid event. The acquisition was the right step to complete the show.” Held since 2015, GIIAS The Series is the biggest automotive exhibition under the management of Seven Event. Its expansion to several Indonesia’s region will allow Seven Event to also expand their portfolio in the automotive based exhibition.

In 2020, Seven Event will hold a total of six exhibitions, covering all sectors of the automotive industry, which include passenger car, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, and the automotive supporting industries. “GIIAS The Series will officially strengthen Seven Event’s footprint as a leading automotive exhibition organizer in Indonesia,” said Romi.

GIIAS 2020 The Series includes GIIAS Surabaya 2020, The 28th GIIAS in Jakarta, GIIAS Makassar 2020 and GIIAS Medan 2020.

France, Paris & Indonesia, Jakarta

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