Blue Ant acquires Saloon Media

Blue Ant MediaCanadian broadcaster, producer and distributor Blue Ant Media has acquired Toronto-based factual production company Saloon Media as part of its ongoing expansion in North America. The move will see Saloon’s CEO Michael Kot, executive producers Steve Gamester and Paul Kilback, and head of production Betty Orr join Blue Ant’s global production unit. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Blue Ant has already brought NHNZ (New Zealand), Beach House Pictures (Singapore), Antenna Pictures (London), Blue Ant Digital Studios (LA), Look Mom! Productions (Toronto) and Northern Pictures (Sydney) under the unit’s control in recent years.

Saloon launched in 2013, and recent credits include the CSA-nominated series Mummies Alive for History (Canada), Smithsonian Channel (US) and Yesterday (UK). It has also worked on Tornado Hunters for CMT, coproduced See No Evil for Investigation Discovery with UK indie Arrow Media, and made Hunting Nazi Treasure for History (Canada), American Heroes Channel (US) and More4 (UK).

Sam Sniderman, Blue Ant’s EVP global production, said, ““Blue Ant Media is committed to growing its content business in both Canada and the United States. The acquisition of Saloon Media is a key step in the execution of this strategy, as their award-winning factual content and notable creative talent fit perfectly within our content growth strategy in North America.”

Canada, Toronto

SiriusXM to acquire music-streaming company Pandora

SiriusXMSatellite radio company SiriusXM will acquire music streaming service Pandora in a transaction valued at $3.5 billion. The proposed deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, subject to the approval of Pandora stockholders.

The merger offers Sirius a major music-streaming asset as tens of millions of listeners turn to streaming apps in an increasingly crowded market, with Pandora enjoying the largest audio streaming audience in the U.S, according to industry estimates. Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, have hitherto posed stiff competition.

The transaction would combine SiriusXM’s 36 million subscribers in North America with Pandora’s more than 70 million monthly active users. The two companies are expected to have combined revenue of about $7 billion this year. Pandora’s stock rose more than 3 percent in afternoon trading when the deal was announced.

Sirius XM’s chief executive Jim Meyer said of the two companies, “Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.” He also said his goal is to create value through subscriptions, “No matter who comes into one of our trial tunnels, no matter where they come in, our goal ought to be that as they exit that trial, somewhere somehow, they are in a funnel which we’re monetizing.”

USA, New York, NY & Oakland, CA

Comcast outbids Fox to acquire Sky in £30BN deal

Comcast CorporationThe Comcast Corporation is to acquire Sky after an unusual blind bidding auction moderated by the UK Takeover Panel saw their offer of £17.28 per share overshadow Fox’s £15.67 rival offer, for a total of £30.6 billion in cash for the entire issued and to be issued Sky share capital. The bid has already been accepted by Sky’s independent directors and shareholders now have until 11 October to decide whether to accept the recommended offer.

The acquisition ends a two-year bidding war and follows Comcast’s unsuccessful attempt to take over Fox in June, when it lost out to Disney. Sky has 26 million customers across Europe, and has backed the production of shows for Amazon, HBO and Showtime. It’s also well known for its sports broadcasting, such as its Premier League channel. Comcast will soon have a much larger international presence in these fields.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s group chief executive, said: “As part of a broader Comcast we believe we will be able to continue to grow and strengthen our position as Europe’s leading direct to consumer media company. Today’s outcome is down to the hard work of tens of thousands of people who have built and developed this business together over the last 30 years. Sky has never stood still, and with Comcast our momentum will only increase.”

USA, Philadelphia, PA & UK, London

 

DC Thomson Media acquires Aceville Publications

DC Thomson MediaDC Thomson Media has announced the acquisition of independent magazine publisher Aceville Publications. Headquartered in Dundee, DC Thomson Media has been publishing for over 100 years and has a portfolio of more than 20 magazines, including the much loved brands The People’s Friend and Beano. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Aceville Publications is one of the fastest-growing publishing houses in the UK and home to over 40 in-house brands including the leading UK-based craft titles to gardening, health and food publications. This is complemented by a growing B2B portfolio.

Chief executive officer at DC Thomson Media, Mike Watson, said,“We’re excited to have acquired Aceville and are looking forward to working together. The team at Aceville, and their portfolio, are a great fit for our business and this collaboration opens up a host of opportunities for both businesses. This is a hugely exciting time for everyone at DC Thomson Media and Aceville. This acquisition will materially change our landscape and is a key step in our Protect, Launch, Diversify strategy.”

UK, Dundee & Colchester

Salesforce founder Marc Benioff to acquire Time Magazine for $190M

Time MagazineBillionaire and co-founder of Salesforce.com, Marc Benioff – along with his wife, Lynne Benioff – are to buy Time Magazine for an estimated $190 million in cash, just eight months after it was sold to Meredith Corporation. The deal could close within one month, but it must first get regulatory approval.

The Benioffs, who are purchasing the magazine personally in a the deal unrelated to Salesforce, will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by TIME’s current executive leadership team.

Meredith completed its purchase of Time at the end of January 2018. Soon after its completion, Meredith said it was selling Time’s news and sports brands to focus on other brands that served its core target audience: American women.

Benioff recently tweeted, “The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all. A treasure trove of our history & culture. We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand”.

Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal said, “On behalf of the entire TIME team, we are very excited to begin this next chapter in our history. We can’t imagine better stewards for TIME than Marc and Lynne Benioff.”

USA, New York, NY & Des Moines, Iowa

 

Immediate Media acquires BBC Good Food

Immediate MediaImmediate Media Co is to acquire BBC Good Food, the UK’s biggest food media brand, from BBC Studios. The deal, Immediate’s first acquisition under the ownership of Hubert Burda Media, continues the company’s development as it looks to accelerate its growth through strategic M&A and product development. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 1989, BBC Good Food has the biggest cross-media reach of any UK magazine brand. bbcgoodfood.com is the UK’s largest food website, with 22 million visitors globally a month; BBC Good Food magazine, is the best-selling food magazine in the UK, with 1.3 million monthly readers; whilst the BBC Good Food show live events are the largest and most popular food and drink shows in the UK, with over 250,000 visitors a year.

Immediate Media CEO Tom Bureau said, “We are excited to be acquiring BBC Good Food. Not only is this the biggest brand in food publishing and media, but is absolutely on strategy for Immediate, given our focus on high value special interest communities, and cements our market leadership in the Food sector. We see significant opportunity in growing the brand, which we know well from working closely with BBC Studios. I’m looking forward to welcoming the hugely talented BBC Good Food team to Immediate, and we are committed to continue to produce the world-class content they are known for, whilst developing the brand across all platforms.”

BBC Good Food will form a new food business portfolio for Immediate. Headed up by BBC Good Food’s publishing director, Chris Kerwin, who takes up the role of food managing director, reporting to group managing director, Alison Forrestal.

Under the terms of the deal, the BBC Good Food brand name and the bbcgoodfood.com URL are licensed to Immediate by BBC Studios.

UK, London

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Bauer Media to acquire Jazz FM

Bauer Media GroupThe Bauer Media Group has agreed to acquire Jazz FM, the UK’s national commercial radio service for jazz, soul and blues, which reaches 672,000 people weekly. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media, said, “Jazz FM is a much loved, respected and influential brand, with strong growth potential, we look forward to developing it further. Jazz music is seeing an unprecedented resurgence, and this extends us into an entirely new and complementary radio audience. […]I believe that Jazz FM’s expertise combined with our knowledge and experience in digital and personalised advertising technology such as Bauer’s InStream+ will propel the brand for both listeners and advertisers. We look forward to working with the team to grow the business.”

Germany, Hamburg & UK, London

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