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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Daily Mail owner considering options for its Euromoney stake

Euromoney plcDaily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT), commenting on recent media speculation, has announced that it is considering strategic options for its stake in Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc.

Euromoney is an international business-to-business information company focusing on the global financial community. Holding around 49% of the shares, DMGT is Euromoney’s largest shareholder.

DMGT said it has not received any proposal nor is it in discussions with any party to acquire its holding in Euromoney.

UK, London

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r4e to acquire Sold Out

r4ereach4entertainment enterprises plc, the entertainment marketing communications group, is to acquire Agency Press Limited (trading as “Sold Out”), an independent full-service advertising agency.

r4e will pay an initial consideration of £3.94 million in cash and £250,000 in 20,833,333 Ordinary Shares, plus an additional deferred payment based on the financial performance of Sold Out during the period commencing on 1 June 2017 to 31 December 2021. The aggregate of the Initial Consideration and the Deferred Consideration is capped at £10 million. The deal will be part funded by a conditional placing which is expected to raise £3 million.

London-based integrated agency Sold Out, has specialised in arts and entertainment advertising for over 25 years. Clients include S.J.M. Concerts, AEG Presents, Live Nation and Cirque Du Soleil. Its services include campaign development, media planning and buying, events, partnerships, design and creative, broadcast and digital media production. In the financial year ended 31 May 2018, Sold Out had gross profit of £4.1 million, adjusted EBITDA of £1.7 million and profit before tax of £1.3 million.

Lord Michael Grade, Chairman of R4E, commented: “The acquisition will mark a significant milestone for the Group and play a major role in diversifing our client base beyond just theatre. Sold Out has built an excellent reputation within the entertainment sector and has a high-quality, long term client base to match. It has delivered many successful campaigns across live music, festivals, sports and events, which are all areas where r4e is seeking to move in to. Bringing Sold Out into the Group will enable us to strengthen our entire marketing and advertising offering.”

UK, London

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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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Pearson to sell its US K12 courseware business to Nexus Capital Management for $250M

Pearson LogoEducation business Pearson has agreed to sell its US K12 courseware business to alternative asset investment management company Nexus Capital Management LP for $250 million, made up of an initial cash payment of $25 million plus an unconditional vendor note for $225 million expected to be repaid in three to seven years. Following the repayment of the vendor note, Pearson is entitled to 20% of all future cash flows to equity holders and 20% of net proceeds in the event the business is sold.

Pearson’s US K12 courseware business provides textbooks and instructional resources to help teachers and students at every stage of K12 learning in the United States.  It employs approximately 1,330 people. It had gross assets of £648 million and net assets of £75 million as at 31 December 2018 and generated around £364 million of revenue and approximately £20 million of adjusted and statutory operating profit in 2018. The transaction is expected to complete at the end of the first quarter of 2019.

John Fallon, Pearson’s chief executive, said:

“School publishing in America has been an important part of Pearson for many years, and what it does matters to teachers and students across the country. We’re pleased to have found new owners who are committed to its future, and we wish it every success.  The sale frees us up to focus on the digital first strategy that will drive our future growth. Through our assessment, virtual school, advanced placement and career and technical education programmes, we will still serve schools across America and we will now be better placed to focus on the areas in which we can best help their students to be successful in their studies and future careers.”

UK, London & USA, Los Angeles, CA

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