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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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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Future acquires Mobile Nations for up to $120M

FUTURE-logo-Future plc has acquired MoNa Mobile Nations, LLC. Mobile Nations is a US digital publisher. Its websites and apps focus on consumer electronics and help consumers to make smart choices. Mobile Nations key brands include Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter.

Future are making an initial cash payment of $55 million, plus $5 million through the issue to the vendors of 615,166 new shares. A deferred payment of up to $60 million is payable subject to achieving financial targets based on the year ending 31 March 2020. The deferred consideration is to be split equally between cash and the issuance of new shares in Future. The total maximum consideration will be $120 million.

Mobile Nations achieved revenue of $16.4 million and EBITDA of $8.2 million in year ended 31 December 2018. Organic revenue growth was 31% and EBITDA growth 52% yoy.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “This acquisition will further strengthen our market leading position in technology and extend our growing presence in the US. Mobile Nations’ consumer electronics brands, which combine content, community and commerce to deliver shopping enablement solutions, are highly complementary to our existing portfolio. We already have an established commercial relationship with Mobile Nations through its longstanding partnership with Purch, which we acquired in September 2018. The addition of Mobile Nations’ brands will deepen our presence and expand our opportunities to monetise our significant US online audience.”

UK, London & USA, St. Petersburg, FL

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Dennis acquires Kiplinger

Dennis PublishingDennis Publishing has acquired Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc., publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice available in print and online. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kiplinger, founded in 1920 in Washington, D.C. and run by three generations of the Kiplinger family, publishes the largest paid-subscription publications in several financial fields: the weekly Kiplinger Letter, the biweekly Kiplinger Tax Letter, the monthly Kiplinger’s Retirement Report and the monthly Kiplinger’s Investing for Income. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, its most widely read product, has a 600,000-circulation monthly magazine and was first published in 1947, The Kiplinger.com website has around four million unique visitors and 30 million page views per month.

James Tye, Group CEO of Dennis, said: “Kiplinger is everything we look for in a business: It is blessed with strong brands that have developed a high degree of trust with their readers, allied to a vibrant, growing digital business. Kiplinger is run by an experienced leadership team that understand the value of authoritative and concise information in the finance category as well as the key role the various Kiplinger brands play in delivering excellent results for its advertising clients.”

Tye continued: “Kiplinger is a great fit for Dennis. It expands our presence into the finance category, an area we already have an impressive footprint in with the The Week and MoneyWeek. It is also a business with strong, recurring, subscription revenues; Dennis stands out as a company that is built around brands that readers trust and want to buy. I look forward to working with Denise Elliott and her talented team to keep growing the relevance, reach and revenues of the Kiplinger business.”

Denise Elliott, Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer at Kiplinger, will step up to run Kiplinger as CEO from the company’s Washington DC headquarters and will become part of the Dennis leadership team.

Knight Kiplinger, 71, will remain Chairman of KWE’s former parent, Outlook, Inc., and will serve as an informal advisor to Kiplinger and Dennis on editorial content, with the title of Editor Emeritus. None of Outlook’s real estate holdings in Maryland and Martin County, Fla., are part of the transaction, and will continue to be owned and managed by the Kiplinger family.

Dennis, with its US headquarters in Washington, was acquired by private equity firm Exponent in October 2018. Kiplinger is the first acquisition that Dennis has made in the US since it changed ownership. Dennis already owns The Week based in New York.

UK, London & USA, Washington, DC

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Comcast acquires cybersecurity developer BluVector

Comcast Corporation logoThe Comcast Corporation has acquired BluVector, a company that uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide cybersecurity protection to companies and government agencies. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With a proprietary machine-learning engine, BluVector detects, analyses, and contains a wide range of sophisticated cyber-threats including “fileless malware,” zero-day malware and ransomware. BluVector has won a wide array of cybersecurity industry awards and recognition for its innovation and unique technological approach. It is a trusted partner to both Fortune 500 companies and large government agencies working to tackle some of the nation’s most critical challenges. The two companies will work together to grow BluVector’s existing business and also collaborate on the development of new cybersecurity technologies.

Don Mathis, General Manager of Growth at Comcast, said, “BluVector is a global leader in leveraging AI and machine learning to defend against advanced cyber threats. We’re thrilled that BluVector is part of Comcast and are excited to support its continued growth, even as we explore new opportunities to leverage BluVector technology and expertise.”

Eric Malawer, a veteran leader with more than two decades of experience in data analytics, artificial intelligence, national intelligence and digital security, has been named CEO of BluVector and will lead the company as it continues to grow its business as part of Comcast. Malawer previously served as cybersecurity staff director for the House Committee on Homeland Security, and prior to his role at BluVector, he launched three AI and security companies. BluVector founding CEO Kris Lovejoy, who recently left to assume another role, will continue to serve as an advisor and consultant to BluVector and Comcast.

USA, Philadelphia, PA & Arlington, VA

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