Simplify Compliance completes sale of Argosy Group

Simplify ComplianceSimplify Compliance, a Leeds Equity Partners portfolio company, has completed the sale of Argosy Group. The transaction resulted from a strategic decision to further hone the parent company’s focus on its core markets: human capital management, healthcare, environmental health and safety, and communications. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Argosy Group includes a suite of trusted brands that date back more than 50 years, providing a diverse line of award-winning business publications, databases, conferences, online information services, and resource directories for financial services professionals, regulators, lawyers, accountants, and vendors.

The sale of Argosy Group is consistent with Simplify Compliance’s corporate strategy which focuses on the high-growth areas of corporate training, data, and tech-enabled solutions. “We see this sale as an opportunity to allocate resources and pursue investments that align with our strategic vision,” said Simplify Compliance CEO Dan Oswald. “To that end, we’ll continue to invest in new product development and explore acquisitions that expand and strengthen our product portfolio.”

PEI MediaThe buyer, PEI Media Group, is a UK-based global B2B information group focused on private equity, private real estate, private debt, infrastructure and agri investing. “The Argosy Group has been the go-to provider for information for private equity and venture capital executives for decades, the team has done an excellent job growing their market and evolving their products to better serve the community,” says Scott VanHoy, partner with Leeds Equity. “We believe there is a great strategic fit between PEI and Argosy in continuing to provide compelling information and intelligence to their customers.”

USA, Brentwood, TN & New York, NY

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DC Thomson Media acquires PSP Media

DC Thomson MediaDC Thomson Media has acquired PSP Media, a Glasgow-based publisher and event specialist. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Having bought No.1 magazine from PSP Media in 2015, a number of adjacencies and synergies were identified between the two businesses. With this acquisition, DC Thomson Media enters new markets including both B2B and B2C events and exhibitions of scale, and contract publishing.

Mike Watson, Chief Executive Officer at DC Thomson Media, said, “I’m thrilled to have Paul, Tom and the PSP team join the business. At DC Thomson Media we are working to protect our core newspaper and magazine business whilst achieving sustainable business growth. The diversification into new sectors that PSP Media brings is an exciting opportunity for everyone involved.”

UK, Dundee & Glasgow

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Bonhill Group to acquire Last Word Media for up to £10M

BonhillB2B media business Bonhill Group is to acquire Last Word MediaBonhill will pay an initial consideration of £8.0 million, £6.0 million in cash and £2.0 million through a share issue. A deferred payment of £2 million will be made dependent on the financial performance of Last Word during the years ending 31 December 2019 and 31 December 2020.

Last WordLast Word is an international B2B media business addressing the sales and marketing needs of the global asset management industry and information requirements of the wealth management industry.

Launched in 2005, Last Word is owned by its three founders Rod Boulogne, Jamie Hinchliffe and Dylan Emery, and the co-founder of its Asian operation, Tom Porter. Last Word has 71 staff based in its London head office with another 8 staff in Hong Kong and 3 staff in Singapore.

The business creates content, sales and marketing opportunities, networking events and transactional opportunities for its clients and audiences with the key objective to assist asset managers with increasing assets under management.

Last Word currently operates seven investor facing brands. These include seven news and information websites, two of which have associated print titles and, in 2018, the brands collectively hosted 86 scheduled live events. Last Word also operates a further three brands targeting asset managers with event services, content marketing solutions and research data products.

Last Word has approximately 190 clients, including Aberdeen Standard Investments, Allianz Global Investors, BNY Mellon Investment Management, Hermes Investments, Invesco, Janus Henderson, Jupiter Investments, Merian Global Investors, Schroders and T. Rowe Price.

In the year ended 31 December 2018, Last Word generated revenue of approximately £10.2 million (2017: £9.2 million) and had EBITDA of approximately £1.1 million (2017: £0.3 million). As at 31 December 2018, Last Word had consolidated net assets of approximately £1.42 million (2017: £0.78 million).

In the year ended 31 December 2018, 71 per cent. of total revenues were generated in the UK, 16 per cent. in Asia, 8 per cent. in Europe and the balance in the rest of the world. Of total revenues generated in the year ended 31 December 2018, Live Events accounted for 59 per cent., Business Information accounted for 26 per cent. and Data & Insight and content marketing together for 15 per cent

Simon Stilwell, Chief Executive of Bonhill, commented:

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Last Word, a leading international B2B media business servicing the global asset management sector.  Bringing our two businesses together will enable Bonhill to provide a truly global sales and marketing proposition to the international asset management community and provides the opportunity to leverage InvestmentNews’ presence and platform to expand its existing propositions in the US. These are exciting times for the Company and we look forward to the period ahead.”

UK, London

Easyfairs acquires German mechanical engineering events FMB from Clarion

easyfairsExhibition organiser Easyfairs has strengthened its trade show portfolio by acquiring two events from Clarion Events: FMB and FMB-Sud (Forum Maschinenbau) in Germany. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ClarionFMB and FMB-Sud are supplier events serving the mechanical engineering community. Launched in 2005, FMB is held annually in November in Bad Salzuflen, North Rhine-Westphalia and the recently launched FMB-Sud is hosted in Augsburg, Bavaria. Located within two engineering heartlands, the events bring together key players and innovators within the value network of the Machinery & Equipment industry. In 2018, FMB and FMB-Sud attracted around 750 exhibitors and 7,000 visitors.

The two exhibitions will sit within the Easyfairs DACH portfolio. Roland Brand, Head of Easyfairs Switzerland and Germany, said: “FMB and FMB-Sud, which opens its doors on 20 & 21 February at the Augsburg Messe, are a perfect match to our existing portfolio of industrial trade shows: Solids, Maintenance, Pumps & Valves, Empack and Logistics. We will utilise the evident synergies between our present shows and FMB in order to create more value for the industrial communities we serve. As an international and fast-growing company, we have ambitious plans to further develop and expand our portfolio in Germany and Switzerland.”

Belgium, Brussels & UK, London & Germany, Bad Salzuflen, North Rhine-Westphalia & Germany, Augsburg, Bavaria

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Clarion Events

ClearCourse Partnership acquires Circdata

clearcoursAquiline Capital Partners backed ClearCourse Partnership, a group of technology companies providing membership software and services, has acquired Circdata, a provider of event technology. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Newbury. The company employs around 55 people across its head office in the UK and R&D team in Poland. Circdata was originally a data management company and has since developed into an event technology business, providing software solutions to many of the world’s largest exhibition and conference organisers. Its proprietary software platform, Fusion, offers a suite of services that aide exhibitor management, visitor registration, ticket sales and subscriptions.

Following the acquisition, the company will be led by Chris Clipston, in his new role as Managing Director of Circdata, and the existing management team. James Ormiston, Circdata’s founder, will move to an advisory and consulting role.

Since its foundation in 2018, ClearCourse has acquired four other UK-based software and service providers: MillerTech, Silverbear, Clear Direct Debit and APT Solutions. Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, says: “We are delighted to announce the addition of Circdata to the Partnership. Our mission is to foster talent and innovation in the membership software space, supporting the growth and development of dynamic tech companies through the provision of both capital and operational resource. Circdata’s addition to the group will create several operational and market synergies with our existing companies.

UK, London & Newbury, Berkshire

 

Incisive Media acquires The Financial Services Forum

Incisive MediaIncisive Media has acquired The Financial Services Forum Limited, the membership community for marketing professionals across the financial services industry. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The FSF is a membership organisation for marketers working at all levels of seniority across the sector. Members are supported with more than 60 strategic financial services marketing events every year, covering all sectors and marketing disciplines, an online knowledge centre, a broad range of email newsletters, awards ceremonies and summits. The Forum includes members from more than 150 banks, insurers, asset and wealth managers, mortgage lenders and fintech businesses.

Founded in 1998 by Anthony Thomson, financial services marketing veteran and founding chairman of Atom Bank and Metro Bank, the forum has grown steadily under the management of David Cowan (managing director) and Richard Nolan (operations director) to become the pre-eminent membership organisation for marketers in the UK financial services sector.

The acquisition will support the management of the Forum as they continue to grow the scope of services for members as well as broaden the membership base within the sector by accessing a larger, well-resourced event management and digital infrastructure and expert editorially-led thought leadership.

Jonathon Whiteley, CEO of Incisive Media, said, “As a leading financial media business and practitioner member of the Forum, we have long admired the work of the FSF for creating a platform for knowledge sharing, networking and thought leadership. We look forward to working closely with David and his team to support the growth of the Forum for the benefit of members”.

UK, London

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ReedPOP acquires Florida Supercon

ReedPopReed Exhibitions’ games and pop culture live events division ReedPOP has acquired Florida Supercon, an annual convention held in Miami, Florida celebrating comics, superheroes, science fiction, anime, cartoons, video games, wrestling and all things pop culture. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Since the launch of the sold-out New York Comic Con in 2006, ReedPOP has sought to produce exceptional experiences for passionate audiences and help grow the industries surrounding those passions. Over the past two years, ReedPOP launched its first comic con in Africa, Comic Con Africa, and an all-new U.S. show, Keystone Comic Con in Philadelphia, expanding the portfolio to nearly 40 fan conventions around the world.

Lance Fensterman, Global President of ReedPOP, said, “We are thrilled with the addition of Florida Supercon to the ReedPOP family. Mike Broder [founder of Supercon] and his team have done an amazing job in making this show one that has incredible fan and industry support. We plan to spend time listening to the fans and exhibitors and then investing to build upon the awesome convention and continue to give the great fan base a fantastic experience.”

USA, Norwalk, CT & Miami, FL

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