Time Out Group acquires 80 Més 4 Publications

Time OutTime Out Group plc has acquired 80 Més 4 Publications, the Group’s Spanish licensing partner who currently runs Time Out in three cities in Spain.

 The Time Out brand launched in Spain in 2008 to cover Barcelona; Time Out Madrid followed in 2014 and Time Out Girona in 2016.

The business, acquired with cash and deferred share consideration, provides the Group with further growth and monetisation opportunities across e-commerce, advertising and Premium Profiles.

In August 2017, Time Out Group also added, at no cost, Time Out Singapore and Time Out Seoul to its network of owned and operated businesses which now comprises 76 cities in 20 countries. Including its licensing partners, Time Out has a worldwide presence in 108 cities across 39 countries.

Julio Bruno, CEO of Time Out Group plc, said: “Over the past several months, we have expanded Time Out Group’s footprint around the world as we continue to deliver on our strategy to grow our network of owned and operated businesses. We now have a strong presence in APAC and the acquisition of Time Out Spain will further consolidate our already significant presence in Europe.

UK, London & Spain, Barcelona

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WPP invests $5 million in Gimlet Media

wppWPP is investing $5 million for a minority stake in Gimlet Media, Inc., a global podcasting company based in the US.

Gimlet’s advertising and branded-content clients include Alphabet Inc., Ford Motor Company, PepsiCo, Match Group, eBay, Blue Apron, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft Corporation. Gimlet is based in Brooklyn, New York and was founded in 2014. It employs 85 people.

Gimlet’s podcasts are downloaded over 12 million times per month in over 190 countries worldwide. Gimlet’s programming spans a variety of verticals like StartUp (business), Reply All (internet culture), Mogul (music), Homecoming (scripted fiction), Uncivil (history), Science Vs (science), Crimetown (true crime), The Nod (Black culture), among many others. Gimlet also produces branded podcasts on behalf of advertisers. Since its founding, Gimlet has raised US$27 million in funding.

UK, London & USA, New York

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Gruner+Jahr acquire Eat-the-world

eat-the-worldGruner+Jahr GmbH has acquired Eat-the-world GmbH, the pioneer for guided culinary walking tours in Germany. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Eat-the-world was founded in 2008 by Elke Freimuth and Katrin Buck as a start-up in a typical Berlin based backyard building. Since then the Company has sustained a strong growth trajectory and today offers guided culinary walking tours in 35 German cities. The Company provides its customers with a look behind the scenes of a city and takes them off the beaten track on a cultural and culinary adventure, guiding them through small, authentic districts to carefully selected, owner-managed culinary shops. Prior to the sale, the Company was solely owned by its former managing directors Katrin Buck and Elke Freimuth.

Gruner+Jahr publishing director Frank Stahmer and food publisher Astrid Hamer will be responsible for Eat-the-world at Gruner+Jahr. Other Gruner+Jahr food brands include Beef !, Chefkoch, Delinero , Essen & Trinken or Jamie.

Germany, Hamburg & Berlin



Grey acquires a majority stake in hug digital in Dubai

GreyWPP‘s wholly-owned operating company Grey, the marketing communications agency, has acquired a majority stake in hug digital in Dubai. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

hug is a Middle East-based digital agency that provides services including campaigns, social media, research, content marketing and influencer marketing. Clients include international, regional and local brands such as Americana, Al-Futtaim automotive group, Dubai Tourism and Shell.

hug digitalhug’s revenues for the year ended 31 December 2016 were approximately AED19 million, with gross assets of approximately AED7.4 million as at the same date. In addition to its Dubai headquarters, hug has offices in Egypt and India. In total the agency employs around 145 people.

UK, London & UAE, Dubai

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XLMedia PLC acquires www.Moneyunder30.com for $7M

XLMediaXLMedia, a provider of digital performance marketing, has acquired www.Moneyunder30.com (“MU30”), a US focused price comparison website for financial services, for $7 million.

MU30 is a personal finance site providing information for young adults wanting to make informed financial decisions, particularly around credit cards, loans, mortgages and savings accounts. The acquisition of MU30 helps XLMedia’s to expand further geographically in North America and to expand its footprint in the financial services sector.  XLMedia’s recently acquired of www.Greedyrates.ca, a Canadian focused credit card comparison website.

Ory Weihs, Chief Executive Officer of XLMedia, said, “As a leading personal finance review site, MU30 is a known publisher in the US, and with its existing footprint and brand recognition, it represents an excellent opportunity for XLMedia to increase its North American presence and expand within the financial services market.”

UK, Jersey, St. Helier & USA, Yarmouth, MA

TClarke plc acquires Eton Associates

tclarkeTClarke plc, a building services group, has acquired Eton Associates Limited a London based privately owned control systems specialist offering a variety of Building Management Systems.

ETON specialises in installing and maintaining sophisticated building controls systems on complex office buildings.  Recent projects ETON has been involved with include, 20 Fenchurch Street, Chiswick Park, One Canada Square, Bloomberg London, Lacon House and Angel Court.

TClarke has paid an initial cash consideration of £1.5 million, and a further £0.5 million will be released following agreement of the final completion accounts.  A further £0.6 million will be payable subject to earnings targets being met in the two years to 4th August 2019.

For the year ended 31 May 2016 (the latest financial period for which audited results are available), ETON reported revenues of £9.5 million and a pre-tax profit of £0.3 million.  As at 31 May 2016 it had gross assets of £3.2 million and net assets of £0.7 million.

ETON employs around 80 people and is currently based in London Docklands with a manufacturing plant in Essex.  The intention is to co-locate the operations of ETON at TCLarke’s London Head Office at Moorgate and at their prefabrication facility at Stansted.

Mark Lawrence, CEO of TClarke commented, “We welcome the ETON team to TClarke and I am confident that the business will reach new potential as part of a larger group enabling them to build upon the scale and number of projects undertaken.  Increasingly, our clients are demanding ever more sophisticated systems to control their buildings.  With this acquisition we are able to deliver a joined up ability to meet these demands.

Jamie Ward and Graham Millward were the two principal directors and owners of the business. Ward will remain with the business for a minimum of two years and Millward will remain available as a consultant to the business for a two-year period. 

UK, London

Keywords acquires La Marque Rose, Asrec, Dune Sound and Around the Word – all in Paris

keywordsKeywords Studios, a technical services provider to the video games industry, has acquires La Marque Rose SARL, Asrec SAS and the subsidiary companies of holding company, Dune Media SAS, trading as Dune Sound and Around the Word, which are all based in Paris and provide audio recording and localisation services to the video games industry internationally.

The businesses being acquired have combined annual revenues of €9.0 million and profit before tax of €0.9 million. The total aggregate consideration payable is €6.6 million on day one and up to a further €1.0 million over the two years to 31 December 2019, based on meeting performance targets for the combined businesses. Of the total aggregate consideration of up to €7.6 million, up to €6.7 million is in cash, and the remainder through the issue of 75,796 new ordinary shares in Keywords. Of this total, 9,534 new shares will be issued on day one (and are subject to a 12 month hard lock-in) and the balance will be issued on the first anniversary of completion.

Keywords intends to integrate La Marque Rose, Dune Sound, Around the Word and Asrec with their existing recording studio in Paris (acquired as part of the Synthesis acquisition in April 2016).  The scale of the combined operation will support an investment of around €1m in new audio recording studios and offices that will accommodate all 50 employees in a single location.

All but one of the six founders and shareholders will remain in the businesses with Michel Golgevit, founder of Dune being appointed as CEO of the combined companies.

La Marque Rose, founded in 1989, provides expertise in translation, project management and voice direction – from video game localization to dubbing of TV shows, trailers and ads. Established in 1998, Dune Sound (audio recording) and Around the Word (game localisation), which also has a small presence in Germany and in Canada, are together the largest providers of French language video game localisation.  Asrec started in 2010 and has been providing Keywords, Synthesis and Binari Sonori with French audio recording for the past four years.

Fulvio Sioli, European Managing Director of Keywords Studios, commented:

“These acquisitions are an important milestone in the development of our Localisation and Audio Services business lines in Europe. While the trend for game developers and publishers to increasingly source all languages from a single provider is clear, some clients continue to want to transact separately for individual languages. This is still most prevalent for those regarded as pillar languages of which French is probably still the most important.  The combination of La Marque Rose, Dune Sound, Around the Word and Asrec with our existing Keywords studio, gives us a leading share of this games production work.

Ireland, Dublin & France, Paris