Blackstone reportedly near a deal to buy PennWell for around $300M

According to an article on the Forbes website, Blackstone Group is close to finalising a deal to acquire PennWell Corp for around $300 million. The company has estimated revenue of around $170 million. Forbes sources say the deal is being made specifically through Clarion Events, the London-based trade-show operator that Blackstone acquired last summer.

Read the Forbes article here.

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Future plc acquires Newbay Media

FUTURE-logo-Future plc, a global platform for specialist media, has acquired Newbay Media LLC, a US based information and events business, for an initial net consideration of $12.25 million (£8.62 million) cash and $1.55 million (£1.09 million) shares, with a further potential deferred consideration of up to $5.60 million (£3.94 million) in January 2019, depending on the future performance of the acquired business.

Newbay’s information and events business operates in three verticals: Television & Video, Entertainment & Educational Technology and Music. Newbay’s brands include Music Week, Twice and Broadcasting & Cable. Newbay generated EBITDA of $4.2 million in the year ending 31 December 2017.

The acquisition has been funded in part by an increase in Future’s debt facilities of £5m with the remainder of the cash consideration, as well as the expected cash consideration of the acquisition of the Haymarket titles recently announced, funded out of existing debt facilities

The initial share consideration constitutes 283,692 new ordinary shares of 15p each (the “Consideration Shares”) with a holdback on a potential further 18,303 shares. The Consideration Shares will be subject to lock-up restrictions for a period of three months from the date of issue.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, commented: “This acquisition strengthens our presence in the US, and together with our recent UK acquisition expands our market leadership in music and consumer electronics. Newbay’s B2B titles, including those in audio visual and television broadcasting, will further diversify our revenue streams whilst bringing additional valuable B2B experience to complement Future’s B2C businesses.

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GlobalData to acquire Research Views for £90M

GlobalDataGlobalData Plc has agreed to acquire Research Views Limited for £90 million.  Research Views is controlled by GlobalData Chief Executive Officer Mike Danson amongst other shareholders.

Research Views is a portal for Oil & Gas and Power news and analysis. In FY17 the Research Views generated pro forma revenues of approximately £27.0m (an increase of 18.8% over the prior year) and EBITDA of £2.1 million.

Under the terms of the Acquisition, 15,957,447 new Ordinary Shares will be issued to the vendors of Research Views Limited (15.6% of the Existing Ordinary Shares), which equates to £90.0 million based on the volume weighted average price of an Existing Ordinary Share of 564 pence over the 30 days prior to the announcement of the possible acquisition.  GlobalData’s share price at the close of business on 23 February 2018, the last business day before the original announcement of the possible acquisition, was 547.5 pence.

In addition, net debt of £9.8 million will be assumed by the Company on Completion, which includes shareholder debt of £8.4 million. The Company will procure that the shareholder debt is repaid by the Research Views Group to Michael Danson and his associated companies on completion (such repayment to be funded by the Company’s existing banking facilities).

Commenting on the Acquisition, Bernard Cragg, Chairman of the Independent Committee of GlobalData, said: “This transaction consolidates the Group’s transformation into a global data and analytics business with a truly differentiated multi-industry offering. It is consistent with our focusing on data and analytics by strengthening our existing industry offerings and expanding the industries we cover.”

Completion is expected to occur following the General Meeting on 24 April 2018.

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Informa publishes documents relating to recommended offer for UBM

In January Informa and UBM announced the creation of combined B2B Information Services Group through an offer for UBM by Informa.

InformaInforma has now published information on the background and reasons for the Offer, the financial benefits, Informa’s intentions and strategic plans and the actions to be taken by shareholders. They have also published a Prospectus relating to the new shares to be issued to UBM shareholders by Informa in connection with the Offer, and the application for admitting new shares to the premium segment of the Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities.

The information is available on Informa’s website HERE.

UBMIn addition, UBM has published its scheme document today, which contains, amongst other things, a letter from the Chairman of UBM, the full terms and conditions of the Scheme and the Offer, notices convening the Court Meeting and the UBM General Meeting, details of the Mix and Match Facility, an expected timetable of principal events and details of the actions to be taken by UBM shareholders. The Court Meting and the UBM General Meeting will take place on the same day as the Informa General Meeting.

The Scheme Document is available on the UBM website HERE.

Completion of the Offer is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2018.

UK, London

Silver Lake Partners and Battery Ventures to acquire EDR from DMGT for $205M

Silver LakeSilver Lake and Battery Ventures have agreed to acquire EDR, a leading provider of real estate data and software-as-a-service, from the Daily Mail and General Trust plc for $205m. The investors areBattery Ventures global, growth-oriented firms focused on partnerships with market-leading technology companies. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks and is subject to
customary closing conditions.

EDR is a leader in property due-diligence and risk management technology and information. The company’s solutions enable clients — including environmental consultants and engineers, appraisers, and lenders — to manage real estate due diligence processes efficiently and effectively.

Joe Osnoss, Managing Director at Silver Lake, said, ”The real estate sector is continuing to evolve with the introduction of new technologies. EDR has a rich history of thought leadership in this area, and we plan to invest behind the company’s developing product roadmap to serve its important client ecosystem.”

Battery Ventures General Partner Scott Tobin added, ”We look forward to working closely with Chris Aronson and EDR’s management team. We believe that our investment will enable EDR to accelerate growth — including in the state-of-the-art Collateral360 SaaS platform — and extend its reputation as a leader in real estate data and software with a developing range of products and services.”

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Euromoney acquires European investment industry survey Extel

EuromoneyEuromoney Institutional Investor PLC, the international business information and events group, has acquired 100% of the business and assets of Extel from WeConvene. Extel will be integrated into Euromoney’s Institutional Investor Research business which is well known for its sell-side analyst and corporate IR performance research and rankings, and strengthens further Institutional Investor’s asset management offering. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Extel runs the annual independent survey of quality across the European equities investment community. The Extel Survey began in 1974 and in 2017 over 15,500 investment professionals cast 1.1 million votes across the investment industry, providing a huge dataset to help clients analyse and drive their market understanding.

The acquisition of Extel fits within Euromoney’s strategy of investing in its main themes, specifically asset management. Extel is deeply embedded in the equities investment community and its complementary data sets and highly valued analytics and insights will support the transition of Institutional Investor to a next generation 3.0 business model.

Will Rowlands-Rees, MD of Institutional Investor Research, said: “Although a small business, Extel has a strong reputation in the European market, and is highly complementary to our existing Institutional Investor Research offerings. By integrating these businesses, we will create a unique bulge bracket through domestic broker view of research product evaluation in the European market at a time of tremendous market change driven by MiFID II. I look forward to leveraging our shared expertise and knowledge, and partners in the investment community to build a stronger and broader set of capabilities across our portfolio of products to help with these challenges.”

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Ascential plans to sell exhibitions arm to focus on digital

AscentialPlans to focus on its festivals and digital businesses could lead to a £300 million sale of Ascential’s exhibitions division.

The specialist information group previously known as Emap announced the launch of a strategic review of its exhibitions business yesterday.

The exhibitions business, which generated £78 million of revenue last year, includes the Spring and Autumn fairs, home and gift shows for the retail trade; Bett, a series of educational technology events; and Pure, a fashion trade show.

Ascential traces its origins back to 1887, when Sir Richard Winfrey bought the Spalding Guardian. In 1947, the Winfrey family’s newspaper interests were consolidated to form the East Midland Allied Press (Emap). In 1996 it sold its 65 newspaper titles to Johnston Press for £111 million and then in 2007 sold its consumer magazines and radio businesses to H Bauer, the German publisher, for £1.1 billion. The following year the company, by now a business-to-business magazine and events group, was acquired by Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners for about £1 billion.

Analysts estimated that a sale , which also include CWIEME, a series of shows for the automotive, consumer electronics and power generation sectors, could generate proceeds of between £250 million and £300 million. Shares in Ascential jumped by almost 6 per cent yesterday, rising 22½p to 400½p.

The review does not include Cannes Lions, the festival and awards event for the creative and marketing communications, entertainment and design industries, or Money 20/20, a financial technology payments event platform about to be launched in China.

If Ascential does sell its exhibitions unit, it is expected to redeploy the proceeds to pursue acquisitions.

Emap rebranded itself as Top Right Group in 2012, then three years later underwent a fresh change of name to Ascential. In 2016 it was floated at 200p a share, equating to a market value of £800 million.

The launch of the strategic review of its exhibitions division came as Ascential reported a strong set of annual results. Revenues from continuing operations rose by 6.4 per cent to £375.8 million on an organic basis at constant currency, with Cannes Lions lifting revenues by 7 per cent to £65.6 million. On the same basis, underlying earnings were up 3.4 per cent to £119.5 million and a final dividend of 3.8p makes a total of 5.6p, up 19 per cent.

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