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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ION Investment Group to acquire a controlling stake in Acuris

AcurisION Investment Group is acquiring a controlling stake in Acuris, a global provider of proprietary financial intelligence, data and analytics, from BC Partners and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, the FT quoting “three people with direct knowledge of the deal” describe it as a £1.35bn deal. BC Partners and Acuris management are reinvesting and will retain minority ownership.

The Company, then named Mergermarket, was founded in 1999 and acquired by Pearson in 2006 for £101 million plus a subsequent earn-out. In 2015 Mergermarket was acquired by BC Partners from Pearson plc for £382 million. GIC acquired a 30% stake from BC Partners on 2017.

Previous reporting

With nearly 1,500 employees in 66 different locations worldwide, Acuris provides proprietary insights and analytics across six key financial areas: fixed income, transactions, equities, compliance, infrastructure and research. Acuris’ differentiated content and products, including Mergermarket, Debtwire and several others.

Andrea Pignataro, ION’s CEO and Founder said “Acuris’ leading position in financial intelligence, data and analytics is highly complementary to ION’s business. Together, ION and Acuris will continue to deliver innovative, differentiated intelligence and solutions to financial institutions and corporations. We are looking forward to partnering with BC Partners to support the company’s growth and development.”

UK, London

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Mark Allen Group to acquire Centaur Media’s engineering portfolio for £2.5M

Mark Allen GroupThe Mark Allen Group, a specialist information provider and event organiser, has agreed to purchase Centaur Media Plc’s engineering portfolio, including The Engineer and Subcon for £2.5 million. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This transaction follows MAG’s purchase of 12 publishing brands in the aviation, automotive and arena sectors from UKi Media & Events Limited last week.

The engineering portfolio includes the market’s leading website, magazine and events, and has deep industry relationships and a diversified client base. The Engineer is one of the UK’s longest-running business publications and is supplemented by Subcon, which is an event for subcontract manufacturing professionals.

The sale comes as Centaur continues the divestment of its smaller businesses following the conclusion of a strategic review last October and its decision to improve operational execution by focusing on its leading brands. The transaction is expected to complete on 31 May.

Ben Allen, Chief Executive of Mark Allen Group, said, “The acquisition of these premium brands is part of our strategy to target well-established products in markets where we believe there are exciting growth opportunities. These assets will further strengthen our existing manufacturing and engineering publishing and event portfolio, which includes titles such as New Electronics and Eureka, as well as the Engineering Design Show.”

UK, London

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Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios acquires Bayou City Broadcasting for $165M

Entertainment StudiosEntertainment Studios, Inc., one of the US’s largest independent producers and distributors of film and television, with 43 shows on the air, and owner of nine 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 160 million subscribers, has acquired Bayou City Broadcasting Evansville, Inc., and Bayou City Broadcasting Lafayette, Inc for $165 million. Founder Byron Allen is purchasing the station groups through his company, Allen Media Broadcasting LLC. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Byron Allen, who recently joined Sinclair Broadcast Group to successfully acquire the Fox/Disney 21 Regional Sports Networks for $10.6 billion, and also purchased The Weather Channel in 2018, has publicly stated he has been aggressively pursuing additional media assets to purchase. The purchase of these four Bayou City Broadcasting entities — WEVV (CBS) & WEEV (Fox) in Evansville, Indiana and KLAF (NBC) and KADN (Fox) in Lafayette, Louisiana — provides Allen’s television unit with a broader audience and strategically positions the company in broadcast and digital media.

Bayou City Broadcasting Owner/President/CEO DuJuan McCoy said, “Byron Allen is a visionary, and a brilliant entrepreneur who always gets it done. [His] companies, which exemplify excellence, are perfectly positioned to continue the strong tradition these stations have in serving their communities.”

Allen’s expansion into broadcast television is the latest step Entertainment Studios has taken in further expanding the global reach of its programming and content. The Entertainment Studios divisions now include: broadcast television network affiliates, streaming services, broadcast television syndication, production and distribution of 43 television programs, nine 24/7 HD television networks, theatrical motion picture production, acquisition and global distribution, digital movie acquisition and distribution, and global news publishing – making Entertainment Studios one of the largest privately-held media companies in the world.

USA, Los Angeles, CA & The Woodlands, TX

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DVV to acquire Centaur’s HR portfolio for £5M

DVV Media InternationalDVV Media International Ltd is to acquire Centaur Human Resources Ltd from Centaur Media PLC for £5 million. The deal is expected to complete at the end of April.

The sale of the HR business follows the recent disposals of Centaur’s financial services business, including brands such as Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy, and its travel and meetings exhibitions, including the Business Travel Show and the Meetings Show, which will raise in aggregate £14.25 million. The company announcement reported that negotiations for the sale of other businesses are continuing.

centaur-logoThe portfolio of products includes the website and exhibition covering the employee rewards and benefits sector, Employee Benefits; along with the Forum for Expatriate Management, a service for companies with overseas employees.

“This is a very significant acquisition for our business,” said DVV Media International Managing Director Andy Salter. “Building on the strength of our existing Personnel Today brand, the new additions to the portfolio substantially increase our offering to the HR and recruiter services sector. Both Employee Benefits and the Forum for Expatriate Management have a powerful reputation. This is a perfect fit and we are looking forward to working with the new teams to develop our portfolio further.”

The Centaur HR portfolio consists of the following brands and activities:

  • EmployeeBenefits.co.uk: Digital resource for the UK’s reward and benefits industry, supplying news, analysis and research.
  • Employee Benefits Live: Dedicated reward and benefits exhibition with around 2000 visitors and 100 exhibitors and a comprehensive conference programme.
  • Employee Benefits Connect: Conference for senior reward and benefits decision makers.
  • Forum for Expatriate Management: Worldwide community for global mobility professionals. FEM serves the sector through 3 Confex and Awards events (US, APAC, EMEA), a European Confex, research reports, and through the provision of information and news online.

DVV’s current HR brands and events include Personnel Today, Personnel Today Awards, Personnel Today Jobs, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, WhatMedia and the RAD Awards.

All staff currently employed at Centaur Human Resources are expected to remain with the business and the company will remain in central London at DVV’s office there.

UK, Sutton & London

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DVV Media International

Centaur Media

Centaur Media Plc sells financial services division to Metropolis

centaur-logoCentaur Media has sold its financial services division to Metropolis Group for £5 million.

The disposal follows Centaur’s decision last October to explore the divestment of its smaller businesses in order to simplify the Group’s structure and to focus management resources on its leading brands.

Metropolis has paid £5 million in cash for the division sold. Centaur will consider the best use for the proceeds following the completion of its divestment review.

Centaur’s financial services division comprises a portfolio of leading multi-channel publishing and content brands, including Money Marketing, Mortgage Strategy, Platforum, Taxbriefs and Headline Money. These brands generate advertising and other revenue by serving a range of audience segments within the financial services industry, including financial advisers, mortgage brokers, accountants and asset managers.

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive of Centaur, said, “This disposal continues the simplification of Centaur, further reducing our advertising exposure and allowing us to focus on developing products and services with stronger recurring revenues. A simpler group structure will allow us to deliver efficiencies and other operational benefits.

“Our financial services portfolio which includes Money Marketing has played a key role in the development of Centaur over the years, and I want to thank the teams for all their hard work. I am pleased that Metropolis sees the potential to develop the business further.”

Robert Marr, Chief Executive of Metropolis Group, added, “The acquisition continues the development of Metropolis and aligns with our vision of delivering sustainable profitable futures for well-managed media brands. We look forward to working together with the financial services team to further develop these long-standing market-leading brands.”

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Centaur’s financial services business made an adjusted operating profit of £1.2m, up from £0.6m in 2017, on revenues of £8.2m (2017: £8.9m). At 31 December 2018, the business had gross assets of £2.3m.

UK, London

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Acuris acquires Blackpeak

AcurisAcuris, a BC Partners and GIC-backed provider of financial data, intelligence, research and analysis, has acquired Blackpeak, an investigative research firm. Blackpeak will join Acuris’ Compliance division. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Co-founded by Jack Clode and Chris Leahy in 2011, Blackpeak is a premier provider of complex due diligence, research and investigation services, particularly in relation to capital markets, M&A and private equity.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Blackpeak now operates from key financial and economic centers, including Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, New York and Washington DC.

Hamilton Matthews

Hamilton Matthews CEO, Acuris

“We are delighted to welcome Jack, Chris and the Blackpeak team to the growing Acuris family. With its expert capabilities as a premium Enhanced Due Diligence services provider and impressive customer portfolio of global blue-chip customers, Blackpeak will enhance our Compliance division’s proposition considerably,” says Hamilton Matthews, CEO of Acuris. “We look forward to working together to support Blackpeak’s growth ambitions and meet the evolving demands of our customers.”

UK, London & Hong Kong

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