Centaur Media Plc to divest digital platform, events & financial services divisions

centaur-logoFollowing a strategic review, Centaur, the international provider of market intelligence and specialist consultancy, is accelerating the simplification of the Group’s structure to improve operational execution and to focus attention on the leading brands within its marketing division.

Centaur is looking at the potential sale of The Lawyer, which operates a digital platform to provide intelligence and analysis to the global legal market; of its events division, including the Business Travel Show, The Meetings Show, Sub Con and Employee Benefits, and of its financial services division, which includes Money Marketing, Mortgage Strategy, Platforum, Taxbriefs and Headline Money.

Andria Vidler, Centaur Chief Executive, said, “Centaur has made substantial progress this year and these appointments will help us to deliver on our strategy to create a more focused business with good opportunities to grow its revenues and margins. We will work with our advisers to explore divestment possibilities and ensure that shareholder value is maximised.”

UK, London

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JPIMedia acquires Johnston Press Group businesses

Johnston PressJPIMedia, a newly-formed company owned by bondholders of Johnston Press, has acquired the group after the publisher put itself into administration. Johnston Press, which owns papers including the i, The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, had been looking to refinance £220m of debt due to be repaid in June next year.

As part of the transaction, the bondholders have agreed to reduce the level of senior secured debt by £135m (more than 60%), from £220m to £85m, with extended debt maturity to December 2023. Additionally, the bondholders have provided £35m of additional funding for the business.

David King, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Group, becomes Chief Executive of JPIMedia. He said, “The sale of the business to JPIMedia is an important one for the Johnston Press businesses as it ensures that operations can continue as normal, with employees’ rights maintained, suppliers paid, and newspapers printed. We will focus on ensuring the group’s titles continue to publish the high-quality journalism we are known for and which has never been more important. I look forward to working with JPIMedia to assess and implement the opportunities available to us in the future, underpinned by a stronger balance sheet.”

UK, Edinburgh

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Touch Medical Media acquires Heart International and forms strategic partnership with Interventional Academy

TouchMedical MediaTouch Medical Media has acquired leading cardiology journal Heart International for an undisclosed sum, and formed a strategic partnership with Interventional Academy, owner of the Complex Cardiovascular Catheter Therapeutics (C3) Global Summit.

Heart International is an open access, peer reviewed journal dedicated to the publication of original research and reviews on cardiovascular disease in its broadest terms. Heart International is indexed in a number of different databases including the Emerging Sources Citation Index, Scopus and has its full archives listed on PubMed Central.

C3 is a leading global annual cardiology conference that is rapidly growing. It has been designed for physicians who specialise in interventional cardiology, vascular surgery, interventional radiology, podiatry, as well as fellows, residents, and other healthcare professionals interested in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Heart International is led by Editor-in-Chief, Dr Magdi El-Omar and Co-Editor-in-Chief, Dr Rajesh Davé. Dr Magdi El-Omar is Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at the Manchester Heart Centre, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, whilst Dr Rajesh Davé is Chief Medical Executive, Holy Spirit Cardiovascular Institute, Chairman, Department of Cardiology and Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, the Ortenzio Heart Center at Holy Spirit Hospital, Camp Hill, PA, USA. Dr Davé is Chairman of C3, whilst Dr El-Omar is a co-director of the course.

Barney Kent, Group Managing Director at Touch Medical Media said, “We are really excited about the recent acquisition of Heart International, which has been in circulation since 2006, and also our partnership with Interventional Academy. The addition of Heart International to the touchCARDIO journal portfolio will give our website more depth of content, and since the Journal is indexed on all major databases, it will encourage authors to publish with us and ultimately increase the flow of high-quality open access content for our users. The acquisition has significantly strengthened our rapidly growing database of physicians who sign up to receive regular updates and in addition, our strategic partnership with Interventional Academy will be very beneficial to both organisations on a number of levels. Myself and the team here at touchCARDIO very much look forward to working with Dr El-Omar and Dr Davé to develop the Journal and our partnership over the coming years.”

UK, Reading & USA, Harrisburg, PA

Penske Media acquires ARTnews & Art in America

Penske Media CorporationPenske Media Corporation has acquired leading art publications ARTnews and Art in America as part of the overall acquisition of Art Media Holdings LLC, the largest independent art publishing group that also includes The Magazine ANTIQUES and MODERN Magazine. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ARTnews, founded in 1902 and winner of over 40 major journalism awards, is the most highly circulated contemporary art magazine in the world. ARTnews is a resource for leaders of the international art world, with digitally led news coverage from its global correspondents, investigative reports, reviews of exhibitions, and profiles of artists and collectors.

Since its founding in 1913, Art in America provides artists, curators, and collectors in the US and around the world with informed analysis of the world’s most important art movements.

PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske said, “For more than a century ARTnews and Art in America have been leaders in breaking news and commentary on the art world. To welcome these fine publications, whose editorial heritage I have long admired, is not only a remarkable opportunity but also a great honor. This purchase continues PMC’s strategy of investing in businesses with great vertical depth, and we plan to rapidly build upon their editorial foundation while extending their presence across the web, video, and international markets.”

USA, New York, NY

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Meredith sells Fortune magazine to Thai billionaire for $150M

MEREDITH CORPORATION LOGOU.S. media company Meredith Corp is selling Fortune magazine for $150 million in cash to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon, the second time the influential business magazine has changed hands this year. Best known for the “Fortune 500” list, the magazine was acquired by Meredith as part of its acquisition of Time Inc in January for $1.84 billion.

Jiaravanon is best known for his affiliation with Charoen Pokphand Group, or C.P. Group, a business conglomerate with stakes in the Thai telecommunications, food, retail and automotive industries.

The Fortune sale is expected to close before the end of the year and it will be a personal holding of Jiaravanon. In a statement, Jiaravanon said he wants to make Fortune “the world’s leading business media brand. The demand for high-quality business information is growing and with further committed investment in technology and brilliant journalism, we believe the outlook for further profitable growth is excellent both for the publication and the events business”.

Alan Murray, who has been editor of Fortune since 2014 and previously served as chief content officer of Time Inc., is becoming president and CEO of Fortune. He wrote on Twitter that he’s “delighted to have found a buyer for Fortune that shares our mission, our independence and will invest to make Fortune grow.”

USA, New York, NY

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CloserStill Media acquires a majority stake in The eLearning Guild in the US

CloserStillCloserStill Media has acquired a majority stake in FocusZone Media, Inc., operating as The eLearning Guild, for an undisclosed sum. The eLearning Guild has a 40,000+ membership community of learning and development professionals in the United States and across the world. The Guild operates major conferences and exhibitions including DevLearn (Las Vegas, NV), Learning Solutions (Orlando, FL) and Realities 360 (San Jose, CL) and has a number of digital publications as well as research and online events.

CloserStill runs the world’s leading workplace learning event brand, Learning Technologies, with three market leading annual events in London, Berlin (with Online Educa) and Paris, a global digital community and the industry’s leading awards programme for corporate learning and development professionals. The London event in February is Europe’s largest annual exhibition and conference for the workplace learning sector attracting more than 8,000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors.

CloserStill’s Learning Group Managing Director, Mark Penton, said, “We are delighted to welcome The eLearning Guild and their impressive event portfolio to our growing global network and are incredibly excited by the huge opportunities this will create. And most importantly, we look forward to enhancing the collaboration between our family of learning brands and their learning communities around the world.”

USA, Santa Rosa, CL & UK, London

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Skift acquires Airline Weekly

SkiftTravel industry intelligence and marketing platform Skift has acquired Airline Weekly, including its subscription-based newsletter and related assets. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 2004 by Jay Shabat, Seth Kaplan and Jason Cottrell, the publication provides insight and analysis of the commercial passenger airline industry worldwide.

Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of Skift, said, “Now that we are in our sixth year at Skift, we have been exploring various ways to expand our roots in the travel sector and go deeper into our existing focus areas with more expertise. With Airline Weekly, the Airline Innovation Report, and our global forums, Skift now offers the strongest business coverage of commercial aviation in the world”.

USA, New York, NY & Fort Myers, FL