A Fusion Deal: Layer123 sold to Euromoney

layer123Layer123, a content and sponsorship-led events business focusing on innovation in the rapidly-evolving space of telecoms network strategy, has sold a 61% stake in the business to Euromoney. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Layer123. The Fusion team was led by Mark Eisenstadt, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed. Euromoney has options to acquire the rest of the equity in Layer123 over the next few years.

EuromoneyLayer123 was launched in 2010 and offers telecoms network events specialising in knowledge exchange between technical and network strategy teams from telecoms operators, software and hardware vendors and other service providers. The main focus of the business is network innovation for carriers, including SDN (Software-Defined Networks), NFV (Network Functions Virtualization), SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN), Security, 5G Core, Access & Transport Networking and Optical Networking.

The founders, Robert Jones and Mark Lum, will remain with the business for at least the next three years. Mark Lum is a widely respected analyst with over 30 years’ experience in carrier network markets. Robert Jones has 20 years’ experience in event organisation, founding and building some of the world’s leading telecoms networking conferences and exhibitions.

Layer123 will be managed as part of Rosalind Irving’s Telcap portfolio, further expanding Euromoney’s presence in the telecoms markets.

“Layer123 welcomes the opportunity to join the Euromoney family of events and knowledge-based businesses”, said Robert Jones. “We see real opportunities to build the business over the coming years within such a well-regarded organisation. As a fan of the Capacity events for well over a decade, I’m confident that Layer123 will feel very much at home. We look forward to working with you!”

mark-eisenstadt_f_1_120_1Speaking about the sale, Fusion’s Mark Eisenstadt said, “It was a pleasure to represent Mark Lum & Robert Jones and their market leading business, Layer123. They have created the industry knowledge exchange for network strategy professionals. Euromoney offer the right philosophy, experience and resources to help exploit the enormous market opportunities offered by this dynamic and disruptive innovation sector. Fusion previously represented Telcap in their acquisition by Euromoney and have witnessed it’s further meteoric growth under their guidance. We trust this new partnership will breed similar success.”

UK, London

Other Fusion Media & Business Information

List of all Fusion Transactions – HERE

Centaur Media Plc sells Home Interest Business for £32 million and acquires MarketMakers for an initial consideration of £13.4 million

Centaur Media Plc is to sell its business-to-consumer division, Home Interest for £32 million to Future plc and at the same time, acquire MarketMakers Incorporated Limited, an integrated marketing services businesses, for an initial consideration of £13.4 million with a deferred earnout amount based on EBITDA performance.

The proceeds from the sale of Home Interest will be used to pay for the acquisition of MarketMakers. Therefore completion of the acquisition is conditional on completion of the sale.

MarketMakers had revenues of £11.4 million and adjusted EBITDA of £1.7 million for year ended 31 December 2016. It is ranked as the No.1 telemarketing agency in the UK by B2B Marketing and has achieved growth in revenues of 27% over the last three years.

Centaur’s Home Interest division includes Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living and Real Homes.

The transactions help Centaur focus on becoming a B2B digital, business intelligence and events company and to reduce its reliance on print and advertising .

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive, commented: “These transactions are a major step forward in the continuing transformation of Centaur into a B2B focussed business, providing our increasingly professional customer base with a range of higher value-added products and services.

“The process of taking Centaur up the B2B value chain continues, and these transactions are a very significant step forward in our ambitions.”

UK, London

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XLMedia PLC acquires Securethoughts.com for $2M

XLMdia PLC, a provider of performance marketing, has acquired Securethoughts.com, a US cyber security comparison website, for $2.0 million.

Ory Weihs, Chief Executive Officer of XLMedia, commented: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Securethoughts, our first and significant publishing asset in the fast growing cyber security sector. Securethoughts represents another excellent opportunity for XLMedia to increase its North American presence, diversify its revenues and establish a foothold in another vertical. This acquisition is a further step in executing our successful strategy of diversifying our activities and expanding into additional markets and geographies.”

Previous acquisitions:

UK, Jersey, St. Helier

Time Out Group acquires its Time Out Australia Licensing Partner

Time Out Group plc has acquired Print and Digital Publishing Pty Limited, the Group’s Australian licensing partner. The partner runs Time Out in five cities in Australia.

Launched in 2007, Time Out Australia has established a digital portfolio across online, mobile and social channels as well as highly-curated monthly magazines in Sydney and Melbourne.

The acquisition follows the addition of Time Out Hong Kong in March 2017 to the Group’s network of owned and operated businesses which now comprises 71 cities in 17 countries.

Julio Bruno, CEO of Time Out Group plc, said: “With the acquisition of Time Out Australia, we continue the global expansion of our iconic brand and our evolution as a worldwide digital, transactional business. I am delighted to welcome a very successful and trusted licensing partner and its team to our network of owned and operated businesses.

Time Out is hugely popular amongst both locals and visitors to Australia and has built considerable brand awareness. We are all looking forward to continuing to grow the brand and help this engaged audience to discover, book and share the very best of Australia’s cities with our unique, curated content and local expertise.”

UK, London & Australia, Glebe, NSW

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Ascential sells its 11 remaining UK-based Heritage Brands to Metropolis International for £23.5M

Ascential plc , the business-to-business information company, has sold 11 of its remaining UK-based Heritage Brands to Metropolis International Limited for a consideration of £23.5m.

The 11 brands include Drapers, Nursing Times, Local Government Chronicle, Construction News, New Civil Engineer, Ground Engineering, H&V News / RAC, Retail Jeweller, Materials Recycling World and the architecture titles including Architects’ Journal, The Architectural Review and its associated World Architecture Festival.

On 5 January 2017 the Group announced that it had separated 13 Heritage Brands into a new operating entity and that these brands would develop an independent business strategy while new owners were sought. On 19 January 2017, Health Service Journal was sold to Wilmington plc for £19m in cash and, following the sale to Metropolis International, the sale process continues for the one remaining Heritage Brand, Meed.

In 2016, the 11 UK-based Heritage Brands generated revenue of £32.1m (2015: £34.6m) and adjusted EBITDA of £6.9m (2015: £8.0m). Gross assets at 31 December 2016 were £18m including intangibles.

Duncan Painter, CEO, Ascential, commented: “Ascential’s strategy is to focus on its top performing brands to drive sustainable organic growth. This sale concludes the process to secure the future of the UK Heritage Brands.”

UK, London

Reed Business Information sells New Scientist

New ScientistReed Business Information (RBI) has sold New Scientist and its associated products and events to Kingston Acquisitions Limited, a company established by the former management team of Times Educational Supplement for the purpose of acquiring New Scientist. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

First published in 1956, New Scientist is a weekly science and technology magazine. The magazine covers current developments, news, reviews and commentary on science and technology. It also publishes speculative articles, ranging from the technical to the philosophical. A readers’ letters section discusses recent articles, and discussions also take place on the website. It has an average circulation (ABC audit) of 125,000, 82% print and 18% digital. 56% of it circulation is in the UK and Ireland, 44% ROW.

Kingston Acquisitions is led by by Sir Bernard Gray. Gray spent nearly ten years as a journalist at the Financial Times Group, including as a defence correspondent. Later he became chief executive of UBM’s, CMP Information. In 2005 Gray was appointed chief executive of TSL Education Limited, publisher of the Times Educational Supplement, when it was acquired by Exponent. He has been a defence adviser on defence spending to both the labour and conservative governments.

RBI is part of Relx (formerly Reed Elsevier). Relx has sold off the majority of its magazine publishing businesses. Its strategy is to move away from print revenues and instead to develop information-based analytics and decision tools that deliver enhanced value to customers.

UK, London

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Euromoney acquires RISI, a leading price reporting agency, for $125 million

Euromoney PLCEuromoney Institutional Investor is to acquire RISI, the price reporting agency for the global forest products market, for $125 million in cash.

Founded in 1985, RISI has been part of AXIO Group, an Epiris Managers’ business, since 2013. RISI is headquartered in USA, Bedford, Massachusetts, and employs 150 people across the United States, China, Belgium, Finland and Brazil.

risiIts product suite consists of pricing data, mill intelligence and analytics as well as news, research and conferences covering the pulp, packaging, wood products, wood fibre and saw logs markets. Its price indices are critical to the daily business operations and trading activities of major paper and board, packaging and other forest-product companies. 

 RISI’s products are embedded in the workflows of its customers who use RISI’s information to price physical transactions and inform their strategic decisions. Many of RISI’s 2200 price series are used as the main settlement mechanism in industry contracts. 

In calendar year 2016 RISI’s unaudited revenues were $29.6 million and its unaudited EBITDA was $7.7 million. RISI’s revenues are derived predominantly from selling subscription products and have high revenue renewal rates. RISI’s unaudited gross assets at December 31, 2016 were $29.8 million.  

On completion, Euromoney will pay $125 million in cash for RISI, funded from its existing revolving credit facility.  Completion is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino approval in the United States, which is expected to take approximately four weeks. The acquisition is expected to be earnings-enhancing for Euromoney in its current financial year.

RISI will be managed as part of a new Price Reporting Division, alongside Metal Bulletin Group (Metal Bulletin, American Metal Market and Industrial Minerals), and will report into Raju Daswani, CEO of Metal Bulletin Group and head of the new Price Reporting Division.

Andrew Rashbass, CEO of Euromoney, said: “The acquisition of RISI is another important step in Euromoney’s strategy of building a portfolio of leading price reporting agencies in growing international markets. RISI is a very high-quality business which Euromoney is perfectly placed to grow further. We look forward to working with RISI management and employees around the world to offer the company’s customers products of the highest value.”

In its recent strategy update, Euromoney highlighted price discovery as a key investment theme. The acquisition of RISI follows the acquisition in August last year of FastMarkets, a provider of real-time metals market pricing information.

UK, London & USA, Bedford, MA

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