Easyfairs acquires Aesthetics Media

EasyfairsGlobal exhibition organiser Easyfairs has acquired the Aesthetics Media portfolio, which includes the Aesthetics Conference & Exhibition (ACE), the Aesthetics journal print and digital platform and the Aesthetics Awards. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With a complementary event, Clinical Cosmetic Regenerative (CCR), already in its stable, the acquisition is set to make Easyfairs the leading media provider to suppliers in the UK aesthetics sector.

Matt Benyon, Head of Easyfairs UK & Global, said, “We can now offer customers a phenomenal breadth of products and unparalleled opportunities to engage with aesthetics professionals – it’s a true 360-degree offering. This latest acquisition demonstrates, once again, our commitment to constantly invest in and develop our core markets. Companies in the aesthetics sector often have very different approaches, products, budgets and strategies. We recognise this fact and are utterly focused on meeting all of their needs, helping them prosper and grow. We are now incredibly well equipped to do just that.”

ACE is timed for Spring and aimed at healthcare professionals who practise medical aesthetics, such as dentists, doctors and nurses.

The combined exhibitions, awards and publication will be managed by Easyfairs UK & Global business, with the entire Aesthetics Media team joining Easyfairs as part of the acquisition.

In 2018 Easyfairs was named Belgium’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year®’ and the company is ranked 18 in the world’s leading exhibition companies.

Easyfairs currently organises more than 218 events in 17 countries and employs 750 people and generates revenues exceeding €157m for its financial year 2017-2018.

Belgium, Brussels & UK, London

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IHS Markit and Informa exchange business units

IHS MarkitFinancial data company IHS Markit and Informa, the international exhibitions, events, information services and scholarly research group, have exchanged the majority of the IHS Markit Technology, Media and Telecoms intelligence business for Informa’s Agribusiness Intelligence Informa plcgroup.

The agreement values the two exchanged businesses at equivalent EBITDA multiples, with Informa contributing an additional $30 million cash to IHS Markit to reflect the larger EBITDA contribution from the TMT business. IHS Markit will retain RootMetrics, its benchmarking business and a portion of its market intelligence business. Both transactions are expected to close in July 2019 and are subject to customary closing conditions, including US regulatory approval.

IHS Markit confirmed that the transaction will not affect its capital allocation strategy to delever its debt ratio below 3.0x and complete USD 500 million in share repurchases in 2019.

Lance Uggla, CEO of IHS Markit said, “The Informa Agribusiness Intelligence portfolio is a clear extension of our Chemical and Downstream businesses and builds our existing data, pricing, insights, forecasting and news services within our Resources segment. Agriculture is the largest end chemical market in the world and this transaction expands our capabilities into fertilizers and chemical crop protection, while substantively expanding our capabilities in biofuels.”

UK, London

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ION Investment Group to acquire a controlling stake in Acuris

AcurisION Investment Group is acquiring a controlling stake in Acuris, a global provider of proprietary financial intelligence, data and analytics, from BC Partners and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, the FT quoting “three people with direct knowledge of the deal” describe it as a £1.35bn deal. BC Partners and Acuris management are reinvesting and will retain minority ownership.

The Company, then named Mergermarket, was founded in 1999 and acquired by Pearson in 2006 for £101 million plus a subsequent earn-out. In 2015 Mergermarket was acquired by BC Partners from Pearson plc for £382 million. GIC acquired a 30% stake from BC Partners on 2017.

Previous reporting

With nearly 1,500 employees in 66 different locations worldwide, Acuris provides proprietary insights and analytics across six key financial areas: fixed income, transactions, equities, compliance, infrastructure and research. Acuris’ differentiated content and products, including Mergermarket, Debtwire and several others.

Andrea Pignataro, ION’s CEO and Founder said “Acuris’ leading position in financial intelligence, data and analytics is highly complementary to ION’s business. Together, ION and Acuris will continue to deliver innovative, differentiated intelligence and solutions to financial institutions and corporations. We are looking forward to partnering with BC Partners to support the company’s growth and development.”

UK, London

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Mark Allen Group to acquire Centaur Media’s engineering portfolio for £2.5M

Mark Allen GroupThe Mark Allen Group, a specialist information provider and event organiser, has agreed to purchase Centaur Media Plc’s engineering portfolio, including The Engineer and Subcon for £2.5 million. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This transaction follows MAG’s purchase of 12 publishing brands in the aviation, automotive and arena sectors from UKi Media & Events Limited last week.

The engineering portfolio includes the market’s leading website, magazine and events, and has deep industry relationships and a diversified client base. The Engineer is one of the UK’s longest-running business publications and is supplemented by Subcon, which is an event for subcontract manufacturing professionals.

The sale comes as Centaur continues the divestment of its smaller businesses following the conclusion of a strategic review last October and its decision to improve operational execution by focusing on its leading brands. The transaction is expected to complete on 31 May.

Ben Allen, Chief Executive of Mark Allen Group, said, “The acquisition of these premium brands is part of our strategy to target well-established products in markets where we believe there are exciting growth opportunities. These assets will further strengthen our existing manufacturing and engineering publishing and event portfolio, which includes titles such as New Electronics and Eureka, as well as the Engineering Design Show.”

UK, London

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Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios acquires Bayou City Broadcasting for $165M

Entertainment StudiosEntertainment Studios, Inc., one of the US’s largest independent producers and distributors of film and television, with 43 shows on the air, and owner of nine 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 160 million subscribers, has acquired Bayou City Broadcasting Evansville, Inc., and Bayou City Broadcasting Lafayette, Inc for $165 million. Founder Byron Allen is purchasing the station groups through his company, Allen Media Broadcasting LLC. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Byron Allen, who recently joined Sinclair Broadcast Group to successfully acquire the Fox/Disney 21 Regional Sports Networks for $10.6 billion, and also purchased The Weather Channel in 2018, has publicly stated he has been aggressively pursuing additional media assets to purchase. The purchase of these four Bayou City Broadcasting entities — WEVV (CBS) & WEEV (Fox) in Evansville, Indiana and KLAF (NBC) and KADN (Fox) in Lafayette, Louisiana — provides Allen’s television unit with a broader audience and strategically positions the company in broadcast and digital media.

Bayou City Broadcasting Owner/President/CEO DuJuan McCoy said, “Byron Allen is a visionary, and a brilliant entrepreneur who always gets it done. [His] companies, which exemplify excellence, are perfectly positioned to continue the strong tradition these stations have in serving their communities.”

Allen’s expansion into broadcast television is the latest step Entertainment Studios has taken in further expanding the global reach of its programming and content. The Entertainment Studios divisions now include: broadcast television network affiliates, streaming services, broadcast television syndication, production and distribution of 43 television programs, nine 24/7 HD television networks, theatrical motion picture production, acquisition and global distribution, digital movie acquisition and distribution, and global news publishing – making Entertainment Studios one of the largest privately-held media companies in the world.

USA, Los Angeles, CA & The Woodlands, TX

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Mark Allen Group completes acquisition of 12 UKi Media magazines

Mark Allen GroupThe Mark Allen Group has acquired 12 magazines in the aviation, automotive and transport, and entertainment sectors from owner UKi Media & Events. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

They are: Business Airport International, Business Jet Interiors International, Aircraft Interiors International, Aerospace Testing International, Air Traffic Technology International, Industrial Vehicle Technology International, Traffic Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International, Vehicle Dynamics International, Railway Interiors International, Stadia and Auditoria.

The magazines will trade in a newly-formed company, MA Aviation and Auto International Limited. The 22 transferring staff, will be based in the group’s business offices in Hawley Mill, Dartford in Kent.

Chairman of the Mark Allen Group, Mark Allen, said, “I am delighted that, after five months of negotiations, we have finally completed this deal. I would like to thank owner Tony Robinson and managing director Graham Johnson for helping to navigate this difficult process to such a successful outcome. Above all, I want to compliment the staff, whom we have started to get to know, for their patience and engagement. They are a very committed and talented group and we greatly look forward to working with them.”

UK, London & Dorking

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Mediahuis to acquire Irish newspaper group INM for GBP 125.7M

MediahuisEuropean media group Mediahuis has agreed to buy Ireland’s largest newspaper group, Independent News & Media, for GBP 125.7 million in its first major deal outside Belgium and the Netherlands. Under the terms of the acquisition, INM shareholders will receive 10.5 cents (9p) per share.

INM publishes the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday World, The Herald, the Belfast Telegraph and other regional newspapers, accounting for more than 50% of the daily market and over 65% of the Sunday market in the Republic of Ireland.

Privately-owned Mediahuis, which sells more than 1.4 million newspapers a day in The Netherlands and Belgium including the De Telegraaf and De Standaard titles, said it saw a big potential in improving the Irish company’s online business. Founded in 2013, Mediahuis has grown rapidly through acquisitions and has a track record of combining innovative journalism with digital subscription services and paywalls.

Mediahuis chairman Thomas Leysen said, “We have the resources and the capabilities to further the digital transformation and enhance the digital capabilities of INM. We think it’s a good match”.

Belgium, Antwerp & Ireland, Dublin

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S4 Capital acquires film studio Caramel Pictures and programmatic business ProgMedia

S4 CapitalMartin Sorrell’s S4 Capital has continued to expand the capabilities of its creative digital content production company MediaMonks and its programmatic consultancy MightyHive with the addition of two businesses.

MediaMonks has purchased food and liquids film studio Caramel Pictures, based in Amsterdam, for an undisclosed cash sum.

Broadening MediaMonks’ content studio’s capabilities, the purchase of the globally-operated studio adds directors, specialist crews, studio, robotic equipment and over 25 years of experience in digital photography and film for FMCG brands.

Caramel Pictures’ clients include Heinekin, KFC, KitKat, Lays, Magnum and Senseo, as well as FMCG companies such as Coca-Cola, Danone, Nestlé and Unilever.

MightyHive has merged with ProgMedia, a Sao Paulo-based programmatic consultancy founded two years ago by ex-Google employees Bruno Rebouças and Natalia Fernandes.

ProgMedia will become MightyHive’s Latin American base, helping the consultancy capture market opportunity and extend its capabilities in the world’s fourth largest market. The South American consultancy currently employs 27 people and its clients include iFood and Serasa Consumidor.

Consideration for ProgMedia will be half cash and half in S4 Capital ordinary shares, which will have a two-year restriction on sale. A completion payment will be made based on the audited accounts for 2018 and a further payment will be made based on achieving the targeted earnings before EBITDA for 2019, as soon as the audited accounts are available.

S4 Capital executive chairman Sir Martin Sorrell said that these two additions were in line with S4 Capital’s recently announced strategic imperatives. He added, “Client interest in our purely digital, first party data, always-on 24/7 programmatic model is frenetic. These two further strategic moves in the premium quality, digital content area and programmatic in Latam deepen and broaden that powerfully attractive offer.”

UK, London, NL, Amsterdam & Brazil, São Paulo

Centaur Media Plc agrees sale of travel and meetings exhibitions to Northstar

centaur-logoCentaur, the international provider of business information and specialist consultancy, has entered into a conditional agreement to sell Centaur Media Travel and Meetings Limited, the owner of the Business Travel Show and The Meetings Show, to Northstar Travel Media UK Limited, a leading B2B information and marketing solutions company focused on the global travel and meetings industries. Completion of the disposal is expected to take place on 30 April 2019.

The disposal follows Centaur’s decision last October to explore the divestment of its smaller businesses in order to simplify the Group’s structure and to focus management resources on its leading brands. Centaur announced on 1 April 2019 that it has raised £5m from the sale of its financial services business, which includes brands such as Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy.

Northstar will pay a cash consideration of £9.25m (subject to customary post-completion adjustments) for CTM, which formed part of the Group’s professional services division. Centaur will consider the best use for the sale proceeds following the completion of its divestment review.

Centaur’s professional services division comprises The Lawyer and a portfolio of market leading event brands across three sectors: travel and meetings, human resources and engineering.

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive of Centaur, said, “[This] is another important milestone in Centaur’s ongoing transformation. As we focus on building more robust and stronger recurring revenues, we are reducing Group complexity and overheads that will allow us to deliver efficiencies and improve our operating margins.”

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Centaur’s travel and meetings exhibitions made normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation operating profit of £1.7m (before central overhead allocations), up from £1.6m in 2017, on revenues of £6.4m (2017: £6.1m). At 31 December 2018, the business had gross assets of £1.7m.

UK, London & USA, Secaucus, NJ

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Simplify Compliance completes sale of Argosy Group

Simplify ComplianceSimplify Compliance, a Leeds Equity Partners portfolio company, has completed the sale of Argosy Group. The transaction resulted from a strategic decision to further hone the parent company’s focus on its core markets: human capital management, healthcare, environmental health and safety, and communications. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Argosy Group includes a suite of trusted brands that date back more than 50 years, providing a diverse line of award-winning business publications, databases, conferences, online information services, and resource directories for financial services professionals, regulators, lawyers, accountants, and vendors.

The sale of Argosy Group is consistent with Simplify Compliance’s corporate strategy which focuses on the high-growth areas of corporate training, data, and tech-enabled solutions. “We see this sale as an opportunity to allocate resources and pursue investments that align with our strategic vision,” said Simplify Compliance CEO Dan Oswald. “To that end, we’ll continue to invest in new product development and explore acquisitions that expand and strengthen our product portfolio.”

PEI MediaThe buyer, PEI Media Group, is a UK-based global B2B information group focused on private equity, private real estate, private debt, infrastructure and agri investing. “The Argosy Group has been the go-to provider for information for private equity and venture capital executives for decades, the team has done an excellent job growing their market and evolving their products to better serve the community,” says Scott VanHoy, partner with Leeds Equity. “We believe there is a great strategic fit between PEI and Argosy in continuing to provide compelling information and intelligence to their customers.”

USA, Brentwood, TN & New York, NY

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