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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Pageant Media acquires Hedge Fund Intelligence from Euromoney

pageant-mediaPageant Media, the business information specialist has acquired Hedge Fund Intelligence from Euromoney Institutional Investor. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hedge Fund Intelligence provides a series of business information, data and workflow products – including EuroHedge and AsiaHedge – and global events, which provide a 360-degree view of the hedge fund world.

Pageant Media is one of the financial sector’s fastest growing providers of intelligence and insight. The company, founded in 1998, provides membership services offering senior professionals – across a range of industries, including hedge funds, mutual funds and real estate – exposure to market leading news and analysis, data and events.

This acquisition provides Pageant Media with a series of synergies and brand extension opportunities for its existing market-leading hedge fund brand, HFM, and will increase the company’s scale and reach in the global hedge fund space.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Charlie Kerr, Chief Executive of Pageant Media, said: “This latest deal will enable to Pageant Media significantly to enhance its business information offering to the hedge fund industry. As with the recent acquisition of II Searches, we look forward to integrating these brands into our business and evolving their digital offering. These products will also benefit from Pageant’s belief in strong content, user engagement and creating a membership model that delivers real value.”

Staff from both the UK and US will join Pageant Media’s London and New York offices.

UK, London & USA, New York

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Haynes Publishing Group acquires OATS

haynesHaynes Publishing Group has acquired OATS Limited for £2.4 million. OATS is a niche technology business that provides information and productivity solutions for the lubricants sector of the oil industry.

Haynes is paying £1.85 million payable in cash on completion plus an additional £0.55 million payable within 18 months of completion.

For its financial year ended 30 June 2016, the reportable pre-tax loss of the OATS Group was £0.1 million on revenue of £2.2 million. As at 30 June 2016, the OATS Group had gross assets of £3.3 million.

Formed in 1983, OATS is a Swindon based company with 35 employees that has been servicing the world’s major lubricants businesses under the ownership of Sebastian Crawshaw for the past 20 years.

OATS has developed a comprehensive equipment and lubricants database that supports customers from across the lubricants marketing and supply chain, ranging from original equipment manufacturers, oil companies and lubricant distributors to end-users such as workshops, motor parts resellers and garages. 

J Haynes, CEO of Haynes said: “We look forward to welcoming the OATS team to the Haynes Group. I am delighted that Sebastian will remain involved in a consultancy capacity to facilitate a smooth transition. The OATS global lubricants database will enhance HaynesPro’s digital data solutions to the professional market. At the same time, we will leverage our European commercial network to drive new business for OATS. The acquisition will accelerate management’s drive to grow the HaynesPro business, increasing Group revenue and profit.”

UK, Yeovil, Somerset & Swindon, Wiltshire

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Accentual acquires One Click Retail

ascentialAscential plc, the  business-to-business media company has acquired US-based e-commerce analytics provider Oneclickretail.com LLC for an initial cash consideration of $44 million plus future earn outs.  

Future earn outs, based on multiples of adjusted EBITDA, are payable in the four years 2016 to 2019  in cash or, for certain elements, shares at Ascential’s option.  A portion of the earn-out payments is also subject to founders remaining in employment with the company.  The total aggregate consideration, including initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at $225 million in the event that stretching profit targets are reached. The transaction is expected to complete on 31 August 2016.

one-clickOne Click Retail provides data analytics to help brands optimise their eCommerce activities.  Customers include Procter & Gamble, HP, Unilever, Hamilton Beach, Nestle and Panasonic.  Revenue is generated predominantly through recurring annual subscriptions to the company’s Dashboard product which provides insights to help customers drive sales through Amazon and other eCommerce retailers.  The insights focus on product market share, its drivers, and the actions that can be taken to increase sales.

 One Click Retail had revenue of $4.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $3.4 million for the twelve month period ending December 2015, with a year-on-year growth of 59% and 78% respectively.  Gross assets at December 2015 amounted to $0.8 million.  Annualised subscription contract value stood at $10.1 million as of July 2016.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Accentual said, “We are delighted to welcome One Click Retail and Spencer and his team to Ascential.  It is a quality business that we have been tracking for some time in an exciting part of the retail vertical.  As a high-growth, globally scalable subscription information service product, One Click Retail fits with Ascential’s strategy of owning scalable, global market-leading products and we look forward to helping its talented management team to accelerate its growth.”

The company was founded in 2013 by former Amazon and Walmart executive Spencer Millerberg, and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

UK, London & USA, Salt Lake City, UT

Informa acquires Penton, the US- based Exhibitions and Information Services group, for £1.2bn.

Informa, the Business Intelligence, Exhibitions, Events and Academic Publishing Group, is to acquire Penton, the independent US- based Exhibitions and Professional Information Services group, from MidOcean Partners and Wasserstein & Co for £1.18bn.

The Acquisition will be funded through a combination of new debt and equity, including a fully underwritten rights issue of one Rights Issue Shares at 441 pence each for every four Existing Informa Shares to raise £715m. The Sellers will receive £1,105m consideration in cash and £76m in new Informa equity with a holding period of up to one year. Within this, £6m is to be paid to the management of Penton who own shares in the New York-based Group.

Based on Penton’s results for the 12 months ended 30 June 20161, the Board consider that these results imply a trailing acquisition multiple of approximately 11x adjusted EBITDA.

The acquisition will create one of the world’s largest owner/operators of Exhibitions, Events and Conferences. On completion, Informa’s US business will account for 47% of annual pro-forma revenues. It will also mean that less than 10pc of Informa’s revenue will be earned in the UK.

Penton’s portfolio of around 30 Exhibitions includes brands in Natural Products & Food (Natural Products Expo), Agriculture (Farm Progress), TMT (IWCE), Infrastructure (WasteExpo) and Transportation (MRO Event Portfolio).

Additionally, Penton has more than 20 digital subscription data Brands in verticals including Infrastructure (Equipment Watch), Transportation (Aviation Week Intelligence Network) and Design & Manufacturing (SourceESB), and a portfolio of 100+ print and digital B2B insight products .

informa-carterStephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, said: “Today we are announcing continued progress on our Growth Acceleration Plan with the proposed addition of Penton Information Services. This combination will further strengthen our capabilities in Global Exhibitions and Business Intelligence and extend our US presence.”

ACQUISITION TIMETABLE

The acquisition is expected to complete by early November.

15 September 2016

Announcement date

15 September 2016

Posting of Circular to shareholders and Prospectus published

10 October 2016

General Meeting for Shareholders

11 October 2016

Admission of Rights Issue Shares and dealings in Nil Paid Rights on the London Stock Exchange

26 October 2016

Results of Rights Issue announced

26 October 2016

Dealings in Rights Issue Shares, fully paid, commence on the London Stock Exchange

November 2016

Expected date of completion