Immediate Media Co acquires majority stake in River Street

Immediate Media CoSpecial interest content and platform company Immediate Media Co has acquired a majority stake in River Street Events Ltd, a producer of consumer food and gardening events/festivals in the UK. The deal sees Immediate acquire the remainder of the business in late 2020. No further details of the transaction were disclosed.

Established in 2013, River Street Events produces some of the UK’s most successful consumer events – including the live events for BBC Good Food Show and BBC Gardeners’ World Live – attracting over 250,000 visitors a year.

This deal further strengthens Immediate’s events capabilities, following the recent acquisition of Upper Street Events, providing exciting further potential growth opportunities in the live consumer events market.

River Street Events founder Laura Biggs will remain group managing director until the end of 2020, working alongside Immediate’s Managing Director of Live Events, Paul Byrom.

Immediate Media CEO Tom Bureau said, “We’ve identified live consumer events as an important growth area for Immediate, focused around our high value special interest communities and aligned with our portfolio of market-leading brands.

“Our investment into River Street, who we know well through our partnerships with BBC Good Food Live and BBC Gardeners’ World Live, fits perfectly with this strategy, as we continue to accelerate our multiplatform transformation across print, digital, TV and, now, live events. I’m delighted that we will be working with Laura and her team to continue to build this fantastic business.”

UK, London & Kingston upon Thames

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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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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

DVV to acquire Centaur’s HR portfolio for £5M

DVV Media InternationalDVV Media International Ltd is to acquire Centaur Human Resources Ltd from Centaur Media PLC for £5 million. The deal is expected to complete at the end of April.

The sale of the HR business follows the recent disposals of Centaur’s financial services business, including brands such as Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy, and its travel and meetings exhibitions, including the Business Travel Show and the Meetings Show, which will raise in aggregate £14.25 million. The company announcement reported that negotiations for the sale of other businesses are continuing.

centaur-logoThe portfolio of products includes the website and exhibition covering the employee rewards and benefits sector, Employee Benefits; along with the Forum for Expatriate Management, a service for companies with overseas employees.

“This is a very significant acquisition for our business,” said DVV Media International Managing Director Andy Salter. “Building on the strength of our existing Personnel Today brand, the new additions to the portfolio substantially increase our offering to the HR and recruiter services sector. Both Employee Benefits and the Forum for Expatriate Management have a powerful reputation. This is a perfect fit and we are looking forward to working with the new teams to develop our portfolio further.”

The Centaur HR portfolio consists of the following brands and activities:

  • EmployeeBenefits.co.uk: Digital resource for the UK’s reward and benefits industry, supplying news, analysis and research.
  • Employee Benefits Live: Dedicated reward and benefits exhibition with around 2000 visitors and 100 exhibitors and a comprehensive conference programme.
  • Employee Benefits Connect: Conference for senior reward and benefits decision makers.
  • Forum for Expatriate Management: Worldwide community for global mobility professionals. FEM serves the sector through 3 Confex and Awards events (US, APAC, EMEA), a European Confex, research reports, and through the provision of information and news online.

DVV’s current HR brands and events include Personnel Today, Personnel Today Awards, Personnel Today Jobs, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, WhatMedia and the RAD Awards.

All staff currently employed at Centaur Human Resources are expected to remain with the business and the company will remain in central London at DVV’s office there.

UK, Sutton & London

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DVV Media International

Centaur Media