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

BC Partners sells minority stake in Mergermarket Group to GIC

 

Private equity firm BC Partners has sold a 30% stake in the Mergermarket Group to GIC, the Singapore headquartered investment firm.

Founded in London in 2000, Mergermarket is a global financial intelligence company, providing corporate financial news and analysis through a wide variety of different products. It offers proprietary, forward-looking and actionable intelligence that cannot be accessed elsewhere, to a wide range of investor, advisory and corporate subscribers. Today, the company has over 1,200 staff in 65 different locations worldwide.

Mergermarket was acquired by BC Partners via a carve-out from Pearson plc in 2014 for £382 million and since that time has delivered impressive double-digit top-line growth each year, with EBITDA approximately doubling over the period. BC Partners has worked closely with the Mergermarket management team on a number of key initiatives to accelerate this growth, including transforming its IT platform, enhancing the data offering, and supporting seven strategic add-on acquisitions that have expanded the business into new product areas.Following the transaction, BC Partners will continue to hold more than a 60% stake in Mergermarket and will work closely alongside GIC as the company embarks on its next chapter of growth.

Nikos Stathopoulos, Managing Partner at BC Partners, commented: “BC Partners invested in Mergermarket due to its must-have data and information, attractive subscription-based business model, consistent track record of growth and strong management team. The company has gone from strength to strength over the past three years of our ownership and we are delighted to welcome GIC as our new partner in Mergermarket’s next growth phase.”

Choo Yong Cheen, CIO of Private Equity at GIC, commented: “Mergermarket is a clear leader in its sector led by a strong management team. The Company provides subscribers with essential and often proprietary content, driving strong renewal rates and impressive long-term growth. We look forward to working with BC Partners and supporting the business in achieving its ambitions over the coming years.”

Hamilton Matthews, CEO at the Mergermarket Group, commented: “We are delighted to welcome GIC as our new partner alongside BC Partners. Our business has grown tremendously and it is a testament to the hard work of everyone at the group that we are now joined on our ongoing journey by another prestigious investor such as GIC. We look forward to working with both BC Partners and GIC in exploring the exciting opportunities in front of us.”

UK, London and Singapore

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Euromoney acquires a 49% stake in BroadGroup

Euromoney has acquired an initial 49% stake in BroadGroup, a London-based events and publishing business operating in the fast-growing area of data centre and cloud services, together with their financing. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BroadGroup was founded in 2002 by an entrepreneur Philip Low who, over the past decade, has successfully built and hosted a series of events for data centre, cloud and IT infrastructure executives. In June, BroadGroup hosts its flagship event, Datacloud Global Congress, an annual event in Monaco attended by delegates from more than 50 countries and has additional events in the Nordic and Asia markets. It is the leading networking and deal making forum for data centre and cloud IT infrastructure end-users, software, solutions providers, investors and a broad range of companies engaged in the sector.

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

Rosalind Irving stated: “We admire the position in the market occupied by BroadGroup’s events and we feel that the business has excellent growth potential. This can be maximised by our two organisations joining forces to offer a valuable series of events for the dynamic and rapidly developing telecoms market”

“BroadGroup is focused on continued growth in data centre markets globally, and this exciting project joining forces with Euromoney allows us to accelerate the expansion of our flagship brands to become leaders in each region,” said Philip Low, chairman. “This new opportunity reinforces our strategy to deliver value for our customers, sponsors and delegates at events around the world.”

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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Ascential plc acquires MediaLink for up to $207M

ascentialAscential plc the B2B media company, is to acquire US-based media advisory and business services provider MediaLink for an initial cash price of $69 million plus earnouts.

The earnouts are payable over the period to February 2021 based on the adjusted EBITDA of the business for the three years 2017 to 2019 and are expected to total between $42m and $62m. The earnouts are payable in cash or, for certain elements, shares at Ascential’s option and a portion of the earn-out payments is subject to founders remaining in employment with the company. The total aggregate consideration, including initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at $207m and requires stretching profit targets to be reached.

MediaLink reported unaudited revenue of $54 million and adjusted PBT of $14 million in 2016, with year-on-year growth of 29% and 24% respectively, and had gross assets of $11 million at December 2016.

The company serves the consumer goods and services segment and operates from four offices in the U.S. Michael Kassan founded Medialink in 2003, he will continue to run the business.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Ascential plc, said: “MediaLink is a leader in its industry, with a strong and very visible brand presence in the US. MediaLink is an excellent fit with our existing Ascential offering and I am confident we can help accelerate MediaLink’s business into new markets by using our assets and infrastructure over the coming months and years. I see synergies between MediaLink and our portfolio of products to significantly help accelerate our existing businesses and create additional value for shareholders.”

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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Zoopla acquires Hometrack for £12M


zooplapropertyZoopla Property Group Plc is to acquire Hometrack.co.uk Limited, the UK provider of residential property market insights and analytics, for £120 million.

Established in 1999, Hometrack provides residential property market insights, analytics, valuations and data services to around 400 mortgage lenders, new home developers, investors, housing associations and local authorities. 

The total consideration is £120 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis with £108 million due on completion and £6 million payable on each of the first and second anniversary following completion. Hometrack has a CAGR of c.15% from FhometrackY13-FY16 and generated revenues of £15.5 million and adjusted EBITDA of £7.1 million in the year to 30 June 2016. The consideration represents a 14.7x multiple based on LTM to Dec-16 adjusted EBITDA for Hometrack. The value of Hometrack’s gross assets was £13.1 million as at 30 June 2016.

The acquisition will be financed through a combination of existing cash resources, a new £75 million term loan and an equity placing of up to 5% of Zoopla’s ordinary issued share capital.

Alex Chesterman, Founder & CEO of Zoopla commented, “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Hometrack, the clear market leader in AVM services in the UK and a leading player in Australia. The deal will allow us to serve our consumers and partners even more effectively and gives us unrivalled data capabilities in the residential property market. Hometrack is a perfect fit to develop our data services business and I look forward to welcoming Charlie and his team to the ZPG (Zoopla) family.”

Hometrack provides its products to 15 of the top 20 mortgage lenders in the UK as well as all 4 leading Aushometracktralian mortgage lenders and its UK automated valuation model is recognised by all the major ratings agencies. Over 70% of Hometrack’s revenues are subscription-based and underpinned by long-term relationships.

Hometrack has 55 staff operating out of offices in London and Sydney. Following completion, Hometrack will continue to operate as a standalone brand and platform with the team forming the cornerstone of Zoopla’s data services business, which will be headed up by Charlie Bryant, CEO of Hometrack.

UK, London

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Bowmark and Five Arrows sell Autodata

Rod Williams, Autodata’s chief executive, commented: “With the support of Bowmark and Five Arrows, we have achieved significant growth over the past two and a half years, driven by new product innovation, investment in people and expanding our footprint in our core markets. Our products and services represent an excellent fit with those of Solera, and we are excited at the new opportunities which being part of the Solera group will bring – to Autodata, its customers and its employees.”

Bowmark partner, Julian Masters, said: “Since 2014, Bowmark and Five Arrows have worked closely with Autodata to enhance its product offering and accelerate its growth. The company is well-positioned to continue its success under its new owner.”

UK, London & Maidenhead, Kent

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