Schneider Electric acquires renewable energy platform Zeigo

Schneider Electric has acquired start-up climate-tech platform Zeigo. The acquisition will complement Schneider Electric’s portfolio of clean energy services and solutions and advance the company’s digital energy transformation ambitions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steve Wilhite, SVP for Schneider Electric’s Sustainable Business Division, said, “As the world’s largest advisor to corporations on renewable energy procurement, we know that speed and complexity are two of the barriers that keep some corporations out of the PPA market. By adding the Zeigo technology and team to our existing portfolio of services and solutions, we will be able to provide even greater value to our clients worldwide.”

Organisations face increasing pressure to decarbonise as climate risks and global ambitions for an equitable energy transition both accelerate. For the past 10 years, one of the most common and effective means for companies to begin to decarbonise has been utility-scale renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs). To date, organisations have voluntarily purchased more than 77 gigawatts of wind, solar, and geothermal power via PPA.

The demand for PPAs is expected to grow as net-zero ambitions accelerate globally. More than 2,000 companies have already joined the Science-based Targets Initiative with the intention of mapping their decarbonisation aspirations to a 1.5 degree Celsius global warming threshold. A further 300+ corporations have joined the Climate Group’s RE100, committing to achieve 100% renewable energy in their operations. Taken in total, these commitments have led Bloomberg New Energy Finance to predict a shortfall in corporate renewable energy of 269 terawatt-hours by 2030.

Renewable energy procurement is time-consuming and complicated, requiring significant expert evaluation of projects and risks alongside the satisfaction of stakeholders up to and including corporate boards. By combining Zeigo’s AI capabilities with its existing advisory services, Schneider Electric will deploy enhanced collaborative intelligence in the energy and environmental commodity procurement process.

France, Rueil-Malmaison & USA, Andover, MA & UK, London

RX acquires 3rd Street Group, organisers of Big Data LDN

RX (formerly Reed Exhibitions) has acquired 3rd Street Group Ltd, the owners and organisers of Big Data LDN.

Big Data LDN is one of the UK’s largest data and analytics conferences and exhibitions, hosting leading data, analytics experts and suppliers. The event brings together the data and analytics community in a unique exhibition format for the sector, including a superior, end user-led conference programme. The event takes place in the autumn at Olympia.

Big Data LDN will join the RX portfolio in the UK, with founder Bill Hammond remaining as its event director. 

Announcing the acquisition, Hugh Jones, RX CEO, said: “Despite the impact that the pandemic has had on the events industry, we continue our longstanding tradition of acquiring key events in growth sectors and markets. Big Data LDN is a perfect fit for our portfolio, and I am delighted that Bill and his team will be joining RX to develop Big Data LDN even further. Their professionalism, knowledge and dedication are astonishing, and I’m excited to work with them to grow this event in the coming years.” 

Bill Hammond, founder of 3rd Street Group Ltd, said: “The global big data and business analytics sector continues to grow in the UK. Joining RX will enable us to build the event exponentially with support from RX’s suite of technology platforms, global network and operations expertise. A key issue within big data remains security and privacy and I look forward to working with RX UK’s existing Infosecurity brand to deliver even more value to our customers across the data and analytics sector. It’s going to be an exciting growth period for us and we can’t wait to get started.”

UK, London

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With Intelligence (Pageant Media) – multiple acquisitions since February 2020

In February 2020, Intermediate Capital Group took majority control of the UK’s Pageant Media for a reported £106.5 million in a deal which is believed to have valued the company at £145m. It was the first investment by ICG’s Europe Mid-Market Fund, which closed in late 2019 at €1 billion

Pageant Media, now rebranded as With Intelligence, was privately owned by its CEO Charlie Kerr, who founded the business in 1998. The company’s business model at the time of IMG’s investment included a membership programme in which financial professionals pay an annual fee to receive news, information, and data, and attend invitation-only events. The company organised around 200 events per year and had reported £32 million in revenues in 2019. It had more than 2,500 institutional clients worldwide and had 240 people across its offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, and Cardiff.

Since then, Pageant Media has gone on to make a number of acquisitions, including:

  1. May 2020 – Eurekahedge from the Mizuho Bank, of Japan. Based in Hong Kong, Eurekahedge had annual revenues of $5 million and an operating profit of around $1 million. The company, which was founded in 2001, offers a database of information on hedge funds and offers the Eurekahedge fund indices.
  2. November 2020 – Falk Marques Group (now rebranded With Intelligence) acquired from Beth Falk and Raul Marqués who jointly founded the business in 2006. Falk Marques Group produces conferences and networking forums that are focused on advancing women in the private equity, venture capital and alternative investment communities. It launched the Women’s Private Equity Summit in 2008 and its sister event, the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit in 2009. Falk Marques Group had around $4 million revenue. Pageant Media are reported to have made an initial payment of $4 million. This to be followed by an earn-out which may eventually value the business at $20 million.
  3. June 2021 – the acquisition of Pension Funds Online. The business organises up-to-date financial and contact information for pension funds, in the UK and Europe, through a modern, searchable digital interface. First produced in print form in 1978, as the so-called Blue and Red Books, the online database is today used by asset managers, investment consultants and other service providers to drive their investor outreach strategies.
  4. June 2021 – Hedge Fund Alert acquired from Green Street. Hedge Fund Alert is read by hedge funds, prime brokers, and other service providers to get the earliest look at key dealings and intelligence in the hedge fund arena. The U.S.-based publication now sits alongside HFM and Eurekahedge.
  5. August 2021 – UK-based Savvy Investor from its owner Andrew Perrins for a reported £6 million initial payment and a further £2 million based on performance targets. Savvy Media is a knowledge network for institutional investors, providing members with access to a deep resource of white papers and articles covering global investment and pensions issues. It had £2 million in revenue and £800k EBITDA.

With Intelligence is now a global business information organisation, focused on the asset management industry. Now with over 450 people in seven offices across three continents, the product portfolio includes data, insight and events, and has grown to cover hedge funds, private equity, real estate, private debt, and traditional asset management, with more than 3,000 institutional customers worldwide.

UK, London

Claverley Group acquires HPCi Media

Claverley Group has acquired HPCi Media. The deal was announced in the Cleverly Group owned Express and Star. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

London based HPCi Media focuses on the beauty, wellness and health industries with titles such as Cosmetics Business and Pure Beauty.

Claverley Group chief executive Phil Inman said: “We are delighted to have concluded the acquisition of HPCi Media. The business benefits from a loyal customer base and has enjoyed year on year revenue growth for a number of years. We look forward to working with the current team to support further growth and development.”

Wolverhampton-based Claverley Group is an independently-owned specialist media group which includes The Express & Star, Shropshire Star and MNA Digital. It is the third acquisition by the Claverley Group since 2018. The previous two were the acquisitions of children’s magazine publisher Kennedy and creative design and print management business Cubiquity.

Read the Express and Star story here.

UK, Wolverhampton & London

LabX Media Group acquires G2 Intelligence from Plain Language Media

B2B science media company LabX Media Group has acquired the information services and event assets of G2 Intelligence from Plain Language Media LLLP. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Plain Language Media has retained The Licensing Letter, The Licensing Sourcebook and Licensing Deals & Data, plus its Medical Office Manager and Law Office Manager franchises.

In a statement this week, LabX Media Group CEO Bob Kafato said: “We are excited to formally announce a new addition to the LMG family, G2 Intelligence. G2 Intelligence is a digital content news platform that provides timely, accurate analysis of legal and regulatory news that directly affects the laboratory environment. The brand has a successful 30-year history of providing the diagnostic lab industry with print and digital newsletters, online information services, special reports, and live events. Above all else, G2 Intelligence aligns with our mission of helping scientists make the world better and is a fantastic fit for LabX Media Group, so we are thrilled to have them join our talented team.”

Canada, Ontario and Canada, British Columbia & USA, New London, CT & UK, London

A Fusion Deal: Uniquest sold to Keystone Education Group

UniQuest, a UK-based student engagement, conversion, and retention service, has been sold to the Keystone Education Group. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor to Uniquest. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Founded in 2013, UniQuest is led by co-founder & Chair Natalie Letcher and co-founder and CEO Rachel Fletcher, who will continue to oversee daily operations alongside Keystone’s executive leadership team. 

“With so much noise in the higher education sector for our university colleagues to deal with, not to mention growing student demand and increased student expectations, we provide confidence to our partners in what they’re doing despite all this change. We bring our focused and deep expertise in student engagement to Keystone. Combined with their impressive global footprint and student reach, together we will be able to help more universities around the world reach their student recruitment goals, delivering unparalleled student support,” said Rachel Fletcher, CEO of UniQuest.

“The combination of our business with Keystone will help accelerate our ability to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions. Together, we are even more well-positioned to help institutions remain competitive by enabling them to provide best-in-class, flexible support to prospective and current students,” Fletcher said.

“Combining UniQuest’s operations with Keystone’s recruitment services will enable us to offer extremely robust student recruitment, enrollment, and retention services to our 5 500 customer base, across our key geographic markets, including the US, the UK, and continental Europe,” said Erik Harrell, Keystone’s CEO.

“With the acquisition of UniQuest, we will be able to help our customers face their enrollment challenges head-on and gain an edge over their competition with the help of our end-to-end global student recruitment, enrollment, and retention services,” Harrell said.

“We are committed to serving as a strategic partner for our customers, acting more as an extension of their own recruitment and admissions teams than the traditional agency or third-party vendor models. For students, our extensive counseling services will ensure their journey to the classroom is as painless and informed as possible, helping them every step along the way.”

“This is a game-changer in the student counseling and recruitment space, presenting a unique opportunity for Keystone to disrupt and innovate the existing traditional counseling and agency model that has prevailed for years,” he said. 

“We will also be able to harness our combined data and insights from over millions of students every year to provide enhanced predictive modeling and forecasting to our customer base, making improvements along the entire recruitment value chain.” 

The deal comes at a time when institutions are facing growing enrollment challenges, from the impact of falling US domestic enrollments on US universities to the impact of Brexit on EU student applications to UK universities, all amidst a backdrop of ever-increasing global competition for student enrollments. 

The deal is the latest acquisition amid a flurry of organizational growth for the Keystone Education Group in 2021, and follows Keystone’s recent merger with EMG and acquisitions of FindAUniversity, College Scholarships USA (CSUSA), and AGM Education. 

Oslo, Norway & London, UK

GlobalData to acquire the Life Sciences business of IHS Markit

Data analytics and consulting company GlobalData Plc is to acquire the Life Sciences business of IHS Markit Ltd. (“LS”).

LS offers comprehensive and independent coverage of drug pricing, reimbursement and market access trends, as well as healthcare forecasts and healthcare economic data microsimulation modelling.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, completion is expected to occur during Q4 of 2021 and will be funded from the Group’s existing cash resources and banking facilities.

Commenting on the acquisition Mike Danson, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Life Sciences acquisition represents a strategic bolt-on to our already strong pharmaceuticals data, insights and analytics services. The addition of drug pricing data, as well as other critical Life Sciences data and analysis, further confirms our industry leading breadth and depth in the pharmaceuticals space.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new group of highly talented colleagues to the Group and wish them every success for the future within GlobalData”

Gustav Ando, Vice President and Head of Life Sciences at IHS Markit, added: “We are looking forward to becoming an integral part of the GlobalData Pharma and Life Sciences Team. This unique combination will enable us to provide our current and expanded client base with a much broader service offering, through synergy with existing GlobalData services, and on a single fully integrated platform.”

UK, London

ROAR B2B acquires Environment Media Group Ltd

ROAR B2B, the events and media group, has acquired Environment Media Group Ltd (EMG), the UK specialist media and events business focused on the waste management and environment sector. The deal will bring ROAR’s current event RWM into the same portfolio as LetsRecycle. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

EMG, which was founded in 2000, provides freely available topical news reports, legislative updates, and a range of events for those involved in delivering on the challenges faced in moving to a low carbon economy. The business is led by Rob Mowat, who has led the Company for close to 20 years. Mowat will stay with the business heading up the Environment portfolio at ROAR B2B.

ROAR B2B, operates in three main industry sectors, Business Technology, Social Care, and Environment. Headline events in their portfolio include RWM, Call & Contact Centre Expo, B2B Marketing Expo and Naidex. These events place a focus on sectors that are critical to how we live, communicate and work, both now and in the future. From effective management of the ageing population and large-scale commercial recycling to the technology of tomorrow.

Commenting on the acquisition, Duncan Kirk, CEO of ROAR B2B said “This acquisition represents a very exciting move for our business. We very much look forward to working with EMG, to integrate our existing offering and expand our capabilities going forward. Having admired and closely followed their progress, we are delighted to now have the opportunity to work with Rob and his team. Their knowledge and experience in the sector will be invaluable in realising our shared vision for the development and long-term growth of the business.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with ROAR B2B, this acquisition will allow us to continue growing our business” said Rob Mowat, Managing Director of EMG. “We look forward to working with the RWM team to form the No.1 media partner to the environment and waste management market.”

UK, London

Future plc acquires Dennis from Exponent Private Equity for £300 million

Future plc has acquired media subscriptions business Dennis from Exponent Private Equity LLP, for approximately £300 million.

The titles being acquired by Future are: The Week UK / The Week US, The Week Junior UK / The Week Junior US, MoneyWeek, Kiplinger, Science & Nature, IT Pro, Computer Active, PC Pro, Minecraft World, and Coach.

The four titles not being acquired by Future – Viz, Fortean Times, Cyclist and Expert Reviews – will be retained by the Vendors.

Dennis demonstrated strong growth in its financial year to 31 December 2020, reporting revenue of £104.8m, up 12% on 2019, and adjusted EBITDA of £20.0m, up 14% on 2019. This growth has continued into 2021 with revenue growth of 16% in the twelve months ended June 2021. Gross assets as at 30 June 2021 were £210m.

Expected cost synergies are £5m per annum, to be achieved by FY2023. They represent 25% of Dennis’ FY2020 EBITDA.

The purchase price of approximately £300m is to be satisfied in cash on completion (expected on 1 October 2021), subject to normal closing adjustments. Under the terms of the acquisition, the Vendors have agreed to pay Future a minimum of £8m and a maximum of £10m within 12 months of completion.

The acquisition is being funded via the Group’s debt facility, which was increased to £600m in July 2021 via an amend and extend exercise.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said: “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of a high-quality portfolio of Dennis’ trusted brands that will accelerate our strategy, enhance our content capabilities and bring additional geographical and vertical revenue diversification, whilst materially increasing the proportion of recurring revenues across the Group.

“The materially earnings enhancing acquisition is highly complementary to our longstanding ‘US first’ mindset and provides an attractive opportunity to scale our recently created ‘Wealth’ vertical, whilst diversifying our presence in our ‘Knowledge’ and ‘B2B Pro Technology’ verticals.

“I look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to Future, and to continuing the successful execution of our strategy to generate long-term sustainable growth and attractive returns for our shareholders.”

James Tye, CEO of Dennis, said: “In the three years that the business has been owned by Exponent, Dennis has been on an incredible growth journey, delivering double digit increases in subscription revenues, a greatly increased US footprint; and significant bottom-line increases. This is a testament to the talented team at Dennis who have helped make all of this happen.

“We look forward to working with the team at Future to continue growing the reach, influence and value of all our key brands and businesses.”

UK, London

AgriBriefing sells its UK agriculture division to Arc Media Holdings

AgriBriefing, the provider of agricultural commodity pricing benchmarks, analytics, and market data, has sold its UK agriculture division to Arc Media Holdings, a global events, data and media platform backed by investment funds managed by Eagle Tree Capital. It is Arc’s first acquisition in the UK. According to reporting on Flashes and Flames, Agribriefing was sold for £20 million.

The information assets which will transfer include Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer & Arable Farming alongside all related digital platforms plus events brands LAMMA, CropTec and the British Farming Awards.

Commenting on the transaction, Rory Brown, CEO of AgriBriefing said:

“While we are pleased to announce the next evolution of AgriBriefing, in many ways today is a bittersweet day. The acquisition of Farmers Guardian from UBM in 2012 represented the original pillar around which we have built our company and we are enormously proud of the job our teams have done over the past 10 years.

“Following discussions with Simon (Foster) and his team we quickly realised that they shared a similar underlying belief in the future of successful media and community platforms. We do not feel we could have found a better home for our transferring brands, and the teams who work on them. We will continue to cheer their future success from the sidelines as the UK agriculture business enters its next stage.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY