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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Haymarket Media Group Acquires National Association for Continuing Education (NACE)

Haymarket Media GroupHaymarket Media Group has acquired the National Association for Continuing Education (NACE), a Florida-based live medical education business. NACE will complement Haymarket Medical Education and its global medical education website, myCME. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 2001, NACE has built a respected reputation for delivering Continuing Education live conferences for healthcare professionals.

NACE offers live conferences in over 40 cities and enduring programmes to engage learners and increase their knowledge, competence, and professional performance with the most up-to-date, science-based information on a variety of topics. NACE was awarded Accreditation with Commendation by the ACCME and is an approved provider of continuing education by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

The NACE acquisition grows Haymarket’s reach in continuing education, by adding 53,000 learners to Haymarket’s audience of 2.2 million healthcare professionals and deepening its best-in-class reputation with certified healthcare education covering the spectrum of interprofessional healthcare audiences.

Haymarket Media Group Global CEO, Kevin Costello said, “The acquisition of NACE reinforces our position as the leading full-service provider of medical education. Their expertise in the live space perfectly complements our continuing medical education portfolio and I am thrilled to have them on board.”

Lee Maniscalco, CEO of Haymarket Media, Inc. said, “As in-person CE activities remain an integral and required part of how clinicians learn, the acquisition of NACE will allow Haymarket to build upon the strengths of this educational format in unprecedented ways.”

UK, Twickenham & USA, Plantation, FL

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Nielsen acquires Sorensen Media

NielsenMeasurement and data analytics company Nielsen has acquired Sorenson Media, an addressable TV technology provider that will help transform TV from a one-to-many to a one-to-one medium by powering addressable ad delivery and measurement. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With the deal, Nielsen announced the launch of a new technology, product and commercial initiative, Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising, that will focus on expanding and innovating addressable advertising for Smart TVs and beyond.

Over the last several years, Nielsen has made a number of strategic acquisitions that have strengthened its technology offerings and positioned it to thrive in the addressable TV future. It acquired Qterics, a Smart TV software and privacy management company. Integrated into the firmware layer of millions of Smart TVs, Gracenote’s ACR technology provides the ability for real-time, frame-level ad detection regardless of source or platform. And the most recent acquisition of Sorenson Media completes Nielsen’s go-to-market technology stack with an end-to-end ad delivery solution enabling addressable advertising for TV at scale.

David Kenny, CEO of Nielsen, said, “It’s clear that a significant portion of TV advertising will be addressable long into the future. With the continued evolution of our Total Audience measurement, underpinned by decades of trust, transparency and independence, it was evident that we needed to bring our unique set of technology assets and talent to tackle the greatest challenges the TV advertising industry is facing. And with the Sorenson Media acquisition, we can create improved value and efficiency across the entire media chain – from ad targeting and delivery to measurement and attribution – and make addressable TV more of a reality.”

UK, Oxford & USA, Salt Lake City, UT

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Future plc acquires Cycling News and Procycling

Future plcFuture plc has acquired two specialist consumer brands from Immediate Media: Co – CyclingNews.com and Procycling Magazine. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 1995, Cycling News has a brand reach of over 3.3 million and is, says Future, the world’s biggest pro-cycling website. Procycling launched in 1999 and publishes 13 print issues annually.

Future says it is dedicated to building specialist brands and that Cyclingnews and Procycling perfectly complement its consumer hobbies portfolio. According to Future, the cycling market is set to grow from £2.6bn to over £3bn by 2020. Public interest in professional cycling in the UK has grown during the past decade, buoyed by the success of Team GB and Team Sky during this period. With each of the Grand Tours of 2018 being won by British riders, the emerging success of Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates has further driven interest and enthusiasm for cycling within the UK. This has also been reflected in a good underlying trend in the UK cycling retail market, which has seen strong growth over this period and is forecast to continue to grow towards £3.0bn by 2020.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “The acquisition of these brands will expand our presence in the sport and outdoor leisure vertical and is a clear demonstration of our strategy to leverage enduring content on our technology platform to further diversify our revenue streams. Cycling News and Procycling are respected brands with leading market positions that will complement our existing portfolio whilst extending our reach into new adjacent communities. These brands are leading worldwide voices on professional cycling, offering analysis, insight, gorgeous photography and exclusive interviews with the industry greats.

“We have a proven methodology and track record of integration and we are confident that this deal will drive further growth in operating profitability and cash generation. You may remember that these brands were originally published by Future before we sold them to Immediate in 2014. Buying them back is a special moment for us to honour a piece of our heritage and a fantastic opportunity to expand our portfolio into the world of cycling.”

UK, London

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Bauer to acquire Wireless Local Stations

Bauer Media GroupBauer Media Group is to acquire Wireless local stations across England and Wales. Wireless is made up of fifteen licences across Lancashire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and South Wales. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media and European Radio, commented, “We are delighted with our acquisition of Wireless local licences. This group of established, successful stations complements our existing portfolio and extends our reach and local advertising offer to new areas of the UK.”

Wireless local stations, with a weekly reach of 850,000 listeners, build on Bauer’s previous successful acquisitions of Celador Radio and Lincs FM Group.

He added, “The Wireless local stations acquisition further underlines our belief in the UK and in radio. Outstanding content and growing audiences have driven three years of consecutive records for UK radio ad revenue. As the medium grows ever-more digital and adapts to new listening devices the opportunity expands to offer new and interesting services for listeners and advertisers. It’s a very exciting time to be in the audio business.”

UK, London & Germany, Hamburg

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New Media to acquire Schurz Communications’ newspapers for $30.0M

New Media Investment GroupNew Media Investment Group Inc., one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, has agreed to acquire the newspapers and related assets of Schurz Communications, Inc. for $30.0 million.

Schurz is selling ten daily newspapers, which include the highly attractive college towns of South Bend, IN (The South Bend Tribune) and Bloomington, IN (Herald-Times). The group has an average daily circulation of 105,000 and Sunday circulation of 94,000 and its websites average over 4 million unique visitors monthly and have over 300,000 social media followers. Additionally, there are nine weekly and fourteen other community publications that have aggregate weekly circulation of 250,000. These assets span Indiana, South Dakota, Maryland, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Michael E. Reed, New Media President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are excited to welcome the Schurz publications and their employees into New Media. After nearly 150 years of ownership, we are honored that the Schurz family has chosen us to steward these papers into the future. They have a long history of strong journalism and community impact and we are excited to build upon their digital efforts with the introduction of our UpCurve products.”

USA, New York, NY & Michawaka, IN

RTL Netherlands acquires media company BrandDeli

RTL NetherlandsRTL Netherlands is to acquire BrandDeli, the sales house for the Discovery, Fox and Viacom brand portfolio for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is the result of RTL Netherlands, Discovery Benelux, Fox Networks Group Benelux and Viacom International Media Networks entering into a strategic sales partnership as of 1 January 2019.

RTL will be granted the right to sell advertising space for at least three years for the Discovery, Fox and Viacom brand portfolio, offering a wider range of spot time, branded partnerships and online (video and display) advertising space.

Advertisers will have access to a larger overall reach, especially in younger target groups in both daytime and prime time slots. Discovery, Fox and Viacom also keep the opportunity to sell their own airtime.

Ton Rozestraten, CCO RTL Netherlands, said, “In five years, BrandDeli has grown into a successful company that we look at with admiration. Cooperation enables us to market an even wider and more varied range of products with the beautiful brands that BrandDeli represents. It fits in with our growth strategy to strengthen our position as a local player within the globalising playing field. Like no other, we are able to reach the masses with high-quality programmes and digital propositions. By combining this strength with BrandDeli’s rich cross-media offering (apps, social media, linear TV and websites), we offer advertisers access to an even more varied and growing fan base.”

Netherlands, Hilversum & Amsterdam

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