Vivendi acquires French publisher Editis

VivendiVivendi has acquired 100% of the share capital of Editis, the second-largest French-language publishing group. The share purchase agreement with the vendor, Spanish group Planeta, was entered into on November 15, 2018, based on an enterprise value of €900 million. The French Competition Authority authorized the transaction unconditionally on January 2, 2019.

Vivendi and Editis share a recognised expertise in the development and management of rights to works of culture and the same passion for managing creativity and talent. This acquisition is a logical step in the building of a large content, media and communications group. It also marks the return of this French publishing powerhouse to a European group with a global reach.

Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Vivendi’s Chief Executive Officer, has taken on the additional role of Chairman of Editis. Pierre Conte has been confirmed as Chief Executive Officer of Editis.

Editis encompasses some fifty prestigious publishing houses (Nathan, Robert Laffont, Julliard, Plon, Belfond, Presses de la Cité, Pocket, Solar, …). With a large portfolio of internationally-acclaimed authors, 4,000 new books published each year and a catalogue of more than 45,000 titles, Editis is active in the fields of fiction, children’s books, non-fiction, graphic and illustrated books, educational & reference books. Editis employs 2,400 people.

France, Paris

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Infopro Digital to acquire B2B publisher DOCUgroup

InfoPro DigitalInfopro Digital group is to enter into the acquisition of DOCUgroup, taking a major step in its international expansion. The acquisition will be financed with additional indebtedness, available cash on hand at the group level and an equity contribution from the shareholders of Infopro Digital group. The majority shareholder of Infopro Digital, alongside management of the group, is TowerBrook. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DOCUgroup is a leader in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in business information for the construction, architecture and real estate industries.

DOCUgroup has two main activities: Project Information, whose flagship brand is IBAU, an online subscription platform that references almost 1 million private and public real estate projects; and Product Information, with leading brands such as Heinze and Baunetz, which are digital platforms that enable architects and planners to access databases and detailed information for over 500,000 products. These platforms attract around 15 million online visits each year.

Infopro Digital also offers services to professionals in the building industry in France, Belgium and the Netherlands through Le Moniteur and Vecteur Plus.

Over 500 employees will join the Infopro Digital group, to bring the total to more than 3,200 people worldwide. DOCUgroup generates a turnover of 67 million EUR, which will allow Infopro Digital to reach a turnover of approximately 440 million EUR once the acquisition is completed.

Christophe Czajka, Executive Chairman of Infopro Digital, said,“With the acquisition of DOCUgroup, we become a truly European BtB and Data company. The share of our turnover generated outside of France increased from 14% to 35% in less than a year. Over 1,300 group employees will be based in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the United States, Hong Kong, and Tunisia.”

Julien Elmaleh, CEO of Infopro Digital, added, “The DOCUgroup DNA fits perfectly with that of Infopro Digital: databases and digital platforms allowing professionals to develop their commercial activity and have detailed and high quality business information. Combined, we will have an unmatched offer for professionals in the building industry”.

France, Ile-de-France & Germany, Munich

New Media to acquire Schurz Communications’ newspapers for $30.0M

New Media Investment GroupNew Media Investment Group Inc., one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, has agreed to acquire the newspapers and related assets of Schurz Communications, Inc. for $30.0 million.

Schurz is selling ten daily newspapers, which include the highly attractive college towns of South Bend, IN (The South Bend Tribune) and Bloomington, IN (Herald-Times). The group has an average daily circulation of 105,000 and Sunday circulation of 94,000 and its websites average over 4 million unique visitors monthly and have over 300,000 social media followers. Additionally, there are nine weekly and fourteen other community publications that have aggregate weekly circulation of 250,000. These assets span Indiana, South Dakota, Maryland, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Michael E. Reed, New Media President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are excited to welcome the Schurz publications and their employees into New Media. After nearly 150 years of ownership, we are honored that the Schurz family has chosen us to steward these papers into the future. They have a long history of strong journalism and community impact and we are excited to build upon their digital efforts with the introduction of our UpCurve products.”

USA, New York, NY & Michawaka, IN

Immediate Media acquires Upper Street Events

Immediate MediaImmediate Media Co, the special interest content and platform company, is to acquire Upper Street Events Ltd, one of the UK’s leading producers of consumer enthusiast events. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Upper Street Events is a specialist producer of over 15 events a year at the heart of the UK’s art & design, craft, cycling, dance and specialist travel scene. The acquisition of Upper Street significantly strengthens Immediate’s strategic audience development capabilities. The alignment of the special interest events, such as craft, with Immediate’s existing portfolio of brands, should create future growth opportunities.

Immediate reaches over 22 million UK consumers monthly across a range of special interest sectors, including food, cycling, parenting, weddings and craft. In the craft sector alone, Immediate reaches four million active crafters every month across its current content platforms.

Immediate Media CEO Tom Bureau said, “The acquisition of Upper Street Events is a further step in Immediate’s multiplatform transformation complementing our strategy of focusing on special interest content and communities. We see significant opportunities for growth and development in the events space, both in the markets Upper Street already operate in and with our portfolio of market-leading brands. This deal enhances our ability to offer our consumers world class content, products, services and experiences, across print, digital and live events.”

UK, London

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US TMA acquires TABEXPO Exhibition & Congress

TMATobacco and nicotine industry data & information provider TMA has agreed to acquire assets of international multi-platform trade publisher and conference producer SpecComm International Inc.. Assets acquired by TMA include the nicotine and tobacco conference, GTNF; the magazines Tobacco Reporter, Vapor Voice and Tobacco Farm Quarterly; and the international trade exposition and congress, TABEXPO. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 1994, TABEXPO grew to strategic importance under the management of British entrepreneur David Pike and the SpecComm events team led by publisher and global event director Elise Rasmussen. With David Pike’s retirement last year, the TABEXPO license was acquired by British businessman Steve Fowler. Mr. Fowler built his pet care business into a 50-store chain before selling it in 2016, and also served as a leading figure in his industry’s trade association. He is keen to bring his trading expertise to this new venture and work with TMA.

Elise Rasmussen, the new TMA Vice President of Sales and Marketing said she was confident that TABEXPO 2019 would be the best TABEXPO event to date, citing the continuity of experience and know-how that the original sales team brings, now backed by TMA and the expertise of Steve Fowler and TEM. She said, “My sales team will provide its in-depth knowledge of our customers, their business needs and objectives, which will continue to benefit from the history and experience of our TMA colleagues”.

USA, Princeton, NJ & Raleigh, NC

DVV Media media acquires Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International

dvv mediaDVV Media International has acquired Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International (HLPFI). The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2007 by Ian Matheson and Peter Edwards, HLPFI is read by professionals involved in the logistics of over-dimensional and heavy cargoes. It has a distribution of around 19,500.

Based in Sutton, Surrey, DVV Media International is the UK-based division of DVV Media, the publishing division of German media business Rheinische Post. The company’s portfolio of publications in the transport and logistics sector include: Deutsche Verkehrs Zeitung; Schiff und Hafen; Ship and Offshore; Air Cargo News; Motor Transport; Railway Gazette International; and Commercial Motor, among others.

DVV Media International’s managing director, Andy Salter, said that HLPFI is a logical fit within the company’s growing portfolio of products: “At present, we publish a number of market-leading transport and logistics titles covering the road, rail, shipping and aviation sectors.

“HLPFI covers a niche but essential part of the infrastructure supply chain, has a powerful international audience and has huge potential for growth.

“The DVV events division has already been working with the HLPFI team on the development and launch of the Heavy Lift Awards event, which will take place in October 2019. We fully expect to announce further developments in the months ahead and we look forward to working with the HLPFI team and seeing this division develop strongly.”

All HLPFI staff members have transferred to DVV Media International as part of the takeover; HLPFI magazine will continue to be headquartered in the London Borough of Bromley.

UK, Sutton, Surrey & Bomley, Kent

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Hachette acquires SPCK’s Sheldon Press

Hachette UKHachette UK has acquired Sheldon Press, a specialist medical, mental health and self-help imprint of the Christian knowledge publisher SPCK. It will become part of John Murray Learning. The terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

John Murray Learning will be retaining the Sheldon Press brand and has committed to announcing a full reissue programme plus “ambitious” front-list plans “in the near future”.

Sheldon Press has over 150 titles in print, covering a large range of mental and physical health issues faced by individuals in the developed world. The list includes eight titles on the Reading Well ‘Books on Prescription’ recommended reading list and a number of prize-winning titles at the British Medical Association Book Awards. Among its best known titles are Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong by Tim Cantopher and Curing Arthritis the Drug Free Way by Margaret Hills.

Nick Davies, Managing Director of John Murray Press, said, “We are delighted to welcome the authors of Sheldon Press to Hachette UK. We already have an excellent reputation in mental and physical health publishing thanks to a number of market-leading titles on our John Murray Learning and Jessica Kingsley lists, and this reputation will only be enhanced by this new relationship with Sheldon. We plan to expand the range and scale of our publishing and look forward to taking these important books to new audiences in the months and years ahead.”

UK, London