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

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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

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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Allured Business Media acquires Creative Age

Allured Business Media has acquired publishing house Creative Age.

Creative Age was founded in 1971 by CEO Deborah Carver. Its brands include medical aesthetic brand MedEsthetics, professional nail brand NAILPRO, professional salon brand Beauty Launchpad and spa professional brand DAYSPA, along with its associated sub-brands and the NAILPRO events.

Allured Business Media already owns professional spa publication Skin Inc., fragrance and flavor formulation brand Perfumer & Flavorist, cosmetic business brand Global Cosmetic Industry and cosmetic science and technology brand Cosmetics & Toiletries.

Allured CEO George Fox noted, “We have a vested interest in all things beauty here at Allured, and this gives us the opportunity to build our breadth in beauty and personal care to include so many more touchpoints in professional spa and salon.”

Allured Business Media plans to utilize its digital and event expertise and the success of Creative Age to round out and expand the business. This will include a focus on content and engagement across all mediums to fully serve the business and educational needs of the salon and spa market.

Allure’s press release states that many Creative Age staff will remain after the transition, including editors, sales managers and CEO Deborah Carver. The terms of the deal were disclosed.

USA, Carol Stream, IL & Van Nuys, CA

CB Insights acquires VentureSource data from Dow Jones

CB Insights has acquired the data assets of VentureSource, a comprehensive portfolio relating to venture capital markets, from Dow Jones

The VentureSource database provides detailed and comprehensive data on venture-backed companies – including their investors and executives – in every region, industry, and stage of development throughout the world. This data helps customers find deal and partnership opportunities, perform comprehensive due diligence, and examine trends in venture capital investment, fundraising, and liquidity. 

The acquisition expands CB Insights’ private company data with data going back to 1983, including:

  • Private company valuations 
  • Management team information 
  • Data on deal service providers, including law firms and investment banks 

With the addition of the VentureSource database, CB Insights strengthens its position as a leader in emerging technology information and private market data.  

“Having the deepest and most complete data on emerging technology companies and technology markets is what our clients rely on CB Insights for, and the acquisition of the VentureSource database from Dow Jones furthers that mission,” said Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights. “Whether our clients are looking for technology vendors, partners, M&A targets and/or investments, they are now better equipped to discover and understand these companies and tech markets with the Dow Jones data we’ve acquired as a result of this transaction.”  

“CB Insights is well positioned to take VentureSource into its next chapter, in a way that provides even more value for customers,” said Chris Lloyd, head of Dow Jones’s Professional Information Business. “VentureSource’s high-quality data was developed through proprietary research and using content within Factiva — Dow Jones’s global database of more than 33,000 trusted news and information sources.”

CB Insights has also entered into a licensing arrangement with Dow Jones, which will see it provide a limited set of research reports and company data for Factiva. 

USA, New York. NY

CloserStill Media acquires eCommerce trade shows in Spain

CloserStill Media logoCloserStill Media, organiser of eCommerce Expo in the UK as well as eCommerce Expo Asia, has acquired two eCommerce events taking place in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, from organiser E World for an undisclosed sum.

In addition to the eShows, CloserStill also acquired the 1-2-1 eForum events held each year in the Spring and Autumn which hosts Spain’s largest online retail buyers for two days.

The eShows in Spain become part of CloserStill’s expanding portfolio of enterprise technology events, which includes events in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Singapore and Hong Kong attended annually by more than 75,000 delegates with more than 1,200 speakers and 900 exhibitors.

The E World team, headed by managing director Agustin Torres, has joined CloserStill Media Tecnología in Barcelona. CloserStill plans to expand its technology events portfolio in Spain with a roll-out of its international technology brands from 2020.

Sophie Baker-Davis, head of CloserStill’s technology portfolio, said, “We are excited about the opportunities in the Spanish marketplace. The online retailing world is making great strides in Spain. We are delighted to be working with Agustin and his team and look forward to investing with him to accelerate the growth and importance of the eShows to the e-commerce sector and to integrate them into our international technology and e-commerce network”.

The next upcoming event is eShow Madrid 2019 on 29-30 October, which will see the introduction of a new VIP Concierge programme and takes place at IFEMA with over 10,500 delegates and 130 exhibitors expected.

UK, London & Spain, Madrid & Barcelona

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Ubisoft acquires Green Panda Games

Ubisoft logoUbisoft has acquired a 70% stake in Green Panda Games, a leading publisher of free-to-play mobile games, specialized in hyper-casual games. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2013 and based in Paris, Green Panda Games develops and publishes games in the idle genre. With a 30-person team, Green Panda Games has launched more than 55 games since its creation, downloaded by some 85 million players worldwide. Many of its games have been instant hits, such as Bee Factory, Sushi Bar and Terrarium. Green Panda Games will bring to Ubisoft a sharp editorial vision in the idle games segment, data-based iterative creative processes and expertise in both user acquisition and ad monetization strategies.

Commenting on the deal, Jean-Michel Detoc, Executive Director of Ubisoft Mobile, said, “This acquisition strengthens our position in the hyper-casual market, particularly within the idle games segment. Bringing Green Panda Games into the Group fits seamlessly with our aim of offering a diversified and high-quality line-up of mobile games to an ever-wider audience. We are very excited that this talented team is joining Ubisoft’s creative force”.

France, Montreuil & Paris

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Future plc acquires SmartBrief for USD 45M

Future plc logoFuture plc has acquired SmartBrief Inc., a US-based digital media publisher of targeted business news and information for USD 45 million. The initial amount will include a cash consideration of USD 32.2 million funded from the Group’s existing debt facilities, with a further USD 12.8 million to be satisfied through the issue to the vendors of 1,027,492 new ordinary shares. The agreement also includes a deferred consideration based on certain financial targets achieved over the year ending 31 July 2020, which is subject to a cap of USD 20 million.

Leveraging proprietary technology and editorial expertise, SmartBrief delivers relevant industry news in partnership with trade associations, professional societies and corporations. SmartBrief owns a database of over 5.8 million subscribers made up of senior executives, thought leaders and industry professionals.

Founded in 1999 and based in Washington DC, SmartBrief creates and distributes more than 250 digital newsletters, allowing advertisers to target and engage with decision-makers and influencers across multiple sectors including food and travel, business, education, finance, health care, retail, tech, marketing and advertising. During 2018 Future extended its successful consumer strategy into B2B through the acquisition of NewBay Media in the US, which enabled Future to access the B2B market with several market-leading titles.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “The acquisition of SmartBrief will substantially boost our presence and market position in the B2B sector and enhance our technology capabilities.”

“SmartBrief is a leading, respected provider of sector-focused newsletters and daily email briefings covering a range of key verticals. The addition of SmartBrief’s must-read information products to our portfolio will further extend the reach of our B2B operations. The acquisition will be earnings enhancing, and we have identified several exciting opportunities to leverage SmartBrief’s proprietary technology in both our B2C and B2B business.”

UK, London & USA, Washington DC, WA

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IHS Markit and Informa exchange business units

IHS MarkitFinancial data company IHS Markit and Informa, the international exhibitions, events, information services and scholarly research group, have exchanged the majority of the IHS Markit Technology, Media and Telecoms intelligence business for Informa’s Agribusiness Intelligence Informa plcgroup.

The agreement values the two exchanged businesses at equivalent EBITDA multiples, with Informa contributing an additional $30 million cash to IHS Markit to reflect the larger EBITDA contribution from the TMT business. IHS Markit will retain RootMetrics, its benchmarking business and a portion of its market intelligence business. Both transactions are expected to close in July 2019 and are subject to customary closing conditions, including US regulatory approval.

IHS Markit confirmed that the transaction will not affect its capital allocation strategy to delever its debt ratio below 3.0x and complete USD 500 million in share repurchases in 2019.

Lance Uggla, CEO of IHS Markit said, “The Informa Agribusiness Intelligence portfolio is a clear extension of our Chemical and Downstream businesses and builds our existing data, pricing, insights, forecasting and news services within our Resources segment. Agriculture is the largest end chemical market in the world and this transaction expands our capabilities into fertilizers and chemical crop protection, while substantively expanding our capabilities in biofuels.”

UK, London

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