Portugal’s Cofina acquires Media Capital from Spain’s PRISA for EUR 225M

Cofina logoPortuguese publishing group Cofina has acquired Media Capital, which operates one of Portugal’s biggest TV channels, from Spanish firm PRISA (Promotora de Informaciones SA) for EUR 255 million (GBP 225 million). The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

PRISA logo

Media Capital is the largest group in the Portuguese media sector. Founded in 1992, it owns TVI which, via its channels TVI, TVI 24, TVI Ficção, TVI Reality, TVI Africa and TVI Internacional, reaches 10 million Portuguese speakers worldwide. The group includes MCR, the leading radio group in Portugal, operating Radio Comercial, M80, Cidade, SmoothFM and Vodafone FM, in addition to 14 digital radios.

Media Capital logoThe group also operates Media Capital Digital (IOL and TVI Player), and can boast more than 390 million visits to the group’s websites and eight million followers on social networks. Media Capital is also the owner of Plural Entertainment, one of the largest producers of audiovisual content on the Iberian peninsula (winner of two Emmy awards), as well as EMAV (a technical and recording services company) and EPC (a stage construction and rental company), both with a presence in the European market.

Cofina already owns tabloid Correio da Manha and business newspaper Jornal de Negocios, among others.

A Cofina spokesperson said, “This acquisition fits with the company’s vision for the media and appears to be the one that is best able to ensure its growth and sustainability, and is in line with the global trend towards consolidation of the media sector in the last years”.

Portugal, Lisbon & Porto  & Spain, Madrid

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Verisk acquires energy information business Genscape from DMGT for GBP 297M

Verisk logoThe Daily Mail and General Trust, owner of the Mail titles, has sold its energy information business Genscape for GBP 297 million to US firm Verisk. Genscape collects data and offers forecasts and analytics to customers in the market, as well as providing software solutions.

New York-listed Verisk, which also provides risk analysis to the insurance sector, acquired the energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie for GBP 1.85 billion in 2015. Genscape will become part of Wood Mackenzie.

DMGT chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said, “This transaction marks another major milestone in DMGT’s continued transformation and is in line with our strategy. It will further increase the focus of the portfolio and will result in DMGT operating in five sectors, compared to ten in 2016.”

He added that the sale of Genscape was “consistent with our strategic priorities” and would add more than GBP 200 million net cash to the company’s balance sheet.

UK, London, USA, Louisville, KY & Jersey City, NJ

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Ubisoft acquires Green Panda Games

Ubisoft logoUbisoft has acquired a 70% stake in Green Panda Games, a leading publisher of free-to-play mobile games, specialized in hyper-casual games. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2013 and based in Paris, Green Panda Games develops and publishes games in the idle genre. With a 30-person team, Green Panda Games has launched more than 55 games since its creation, downloaded by some 85 million players worldwide. Many of its games have been instant hits, such as Bee Factory, Sushi Bar and Terrarium. Green Panda Games will bring to Ubisoft a sharp editorial vision in the idle games segment, data-based iterative creative processes and expertise in both user acquisition and ad monetization strategies.

Commenting on the deal, Jean-Michel Detoc, Executive Director of Ubisoft Mobile, said, “This acquisition strengthens our position in the hyper-casual market, particularly within the idle games segment. Bringing Green Panda Games into the Group fits seamlessly with our aim of offering a diversified and high-quality line-up of mobile games to an ever-wider audience. We are very excited that this talented team is joining Ubisoft’s creative force”.

France, Montreuil & Paris

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Future plc acquires SmartBrief for USD 45M

Future plc logoFuture plc has acquired SmartBrief Inc., a US-based digital media publisher of targeted business news and information for USD 45 million. The initial amount will include a cash consideration of USD 32.2 million funded from the Group’s existing debt facilities, with a further USD 12.8 million to be satisfied through the issue to the vendors of 1,027,492 new ordinary shares. The agreement also includes a deferred consideration based on certain financial targets achieved over the year ending 31 July 2020, which is subject to a cap of USD 20 million.

Leveraging proprietary technology and editorial expertise, SmartBrief delivers relevant industry news in partnership with trade associations, professional societies and corporations. SmartBrief owns a database of over 5.8 million subscribers made up of senior executives, thought leaders and industry professionals.

Founded in 1999 and based in Washington DC, SmartBrief creates and distributes more than 250 digital newsletters, allowing advertisers to target and engage with decision-makers and influencers across multiple sectors including food and travel, business, education, finance, health care, retail, tech, marketing and advertising. During 2018 Future extended its successful consumer strategy into B2B through the acquisition of NewBay Media in the US, which enabled Future to access the B2B market with several market-leading titles.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “The acquisition of SmartBrief will substantially boost our presence and market position in the B2B sector and enhance our technology capabilities.”

“SmartBrief is a leading, respected provider of sector-focused newsletters and daily email briefings covering a range of key verticals. The addition of SmartBrief’s must-read information products to our portfolio will further extend the reach of our B2B operations. The acquisition will be earnings enhancing, and we have identified several exciting opportunities to leverage SmartBrief’s proprietary technology in both our B2C and B2B business.”

UK, London & USA, Washington DC, WA

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Canal+ acquires Nollywood film studio ROK

Canal+CANAL+ Group has acquired ROK, the leading African film studio and international TV network, in a deal comprising production, content distribution and publishing channels. As part of the transaction, IROKO Ltd will also take full control of the JV IROKO+, the leading subscription video on demand (SVOD) platform in French-speaking Africa. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The move comes as CANAL+ Group looks to strengthen its content production reach in Nigeria and across Africa. As part of the acquisition, ROK founder, Mary Njoku, will continue in a leadership role as Director General of ROK Productions SAS and maintains a material shareholding in the company.

In Africa alone, ROK has produced over 540 movies and 25 original TV series, making ROK one of the most prolific production houses in Nollywood.

ROK will continue to produce Nollywood content to deliver movies and original TV series for CANAL+ Group’s audiences. As part of the acquisition, CANAL+ Group will continue to collaborate with IROKO Ltd, with a non-exclusive content distribution of ROK content via the IROKOtv SVOD app.

ROK was incubated from 2013 onwards by IROKO Ltd, the leading African digital content distributor for Nollywood content, whose flagship platform IROKOtv has transformed how Nollywood content is accessed and consumed around the world.

Speaking on the acquisition, Mary Njoku said, “ROK has captured the imagination of millions of movie fans, and they have truly supported us as we’ve grown the company to celebrate and enjoy our African culture. I’m excited to be taking our platform on the next stage of its journey with CANAL+ Group, who share our passion for creating original content, supporting new talent and together, we have ambitious plans for the future.”

France, Paris & Nigeria, Lagos

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Spackman Entertainment Group acquires Korean film production company Simplex for $2.4M

Spackman Entertainment GroupSpackman Entertainment Group Ltd., one of Korea’s leading entertainment production groups founded by media investor Charles Spackman, has acquired Simplex Films Ltd., an early stage film production firm headed by veteran Korean producer, Lim Ji-young, for approximately $2.4 million. Further terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Simplex intends to produce top quality films to be theatrically released and distributed in Korea and overseas. Simplex shall first release its films initially in Korea and subsequently in post-theatrical markets such as cable television, broadcast television, IPTV, video-on-demand, and home video/DVD, etc.

Simplex’s upcoming film, JESTERS: THE GAME CHANGERS, a historical comedy film starring Cho Jin-woong of INTIMATE STRANGERS (2018) and THE SPY GONE NORTH (2018) and Son Hyun-joo of ORDINARY PERSON (2017), is expected to be released in August 2019 in Korea. The film, which is currently in the post-production stage, is distributed by Warner Bros. Korea and directed by Kim Joo-ho.

John Ko, Chief Executive Officer of Spackman Entertainment Group said, “Through the acquisition of Simplex, the Group shall be able to expand its film production capacity and look forward to positive contribution from Simplex’s maiden film within this fiscal year.”

South Korea, Seoul

Penske Media Corporation acquires Art Market Monitor

Penske Media CorporationPenske Media Corporation, the parent company of ARTnews, is to acquire Art Market Monitor, an online publication run by its founding editor Marion Maneker since 2008. Through the acquisition, Maneker will become editorial director of ArtNews Media, LLC, a company that oversees ARTnews and Art in America. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Jay Penske, Chairman and CEO of PMC, said, “In the art world, where a significantly fragmented audience spans so many websites, newsletters, and brands, PMC sees the opportunity to augment these exceptional brands with further investments in content and editorial, complemented by robust data and analytic tools, and growing an engaging live media and event business. This acquisition adds a strong subscription business that expands PMC’s reach and influence in the art vertical.”

Prior to launching Art Market Monitor, Maneker was the publisher of HarperCollins’s business books imprint from 2002 to 2007. He also served as an editor at Simon & Schuster, and his writing has appeared in New York Magazine, the New York Sun, and Slate.

Art Market Monitor offers in-depth news and analysis about the art market, and also offers a premium subscription service. In addition to its editorial offerings, the website produces a podcast called Artelligence.

PMC acquired ARTnews and Art in America in 2018. Other publications in its portfolio include Variety, WWD, Robb Report, Rolling Stone, and Indiewire.

USA, Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY

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