A FUSION DEAL: Imbibe Media Limited sold to Reed Exhibitions

img_3849Imbibe Media Limited, the organisation behind Imbibe Live, the Imbibe media platforms, and the successful annual Sommelier Wine Awards, has been sold to Reed Exhibitions, part of RELX Group. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Following the hugely successful launch of Imbibe magazine in 2007,  Imbibe Live was launched in 2010 and quickly established itself as the UK’s leading B2B exhibition focused on the complete range of on-trade drinks – from spirits, wines, beers and ciders, to cocktails, tea, coffee, waters and other associated products. The 2016 edition was held on 4-5 July and played host to more than 250 exhibiting companies from across the on-trade industry, attracting almost 12,000 industry attendees from across the UK. The event will complement Reed Exhibitions’ German on-trade drinks event, Bar Convent Berlin (BCB).

Richard Mortimore, Chief Executive Officer, Reed Exhibitions UK, said: “Imbibe Live, together with its media platforms, has established itself as the UK’s leading event and voice for the on-trade with an unparalleled reputation for delivering quality and innovation to the £10.6bn on-trade industry. We are delighted to be welcoming the Imbibe team to Reed Exhibitions and looking forward to taking its events and media to even greater heights.”

Simon White, Co-founder of Imbibe Media, commented: “The UK hospitality industry is the most creative and exciting in the world. Through all its events and media, Imbibe is at the centre of this dynamic industry. We are thrilled that Reed Exhibitions shares our passion for the sector and our vision for the future. Joining the world’s leading event company will enable Imbibe to develop faster and thus reach, educate and inspire a greater number of on-trade professionals. It will also give way more oxygen to the wonderful brands and services that help make this constantly evolving sector what it is. These are exciting times for both Imbibe and the on-trade – let’s face it, who gets bored of being asked out to a great restaurant or bar?”

Darren Johnson, B2B Divisional Director, Reed Exhibitions UK will oversee the new events. The next edition of Imbibe Live will take place at Olympia, London, on 3-4 July 2017.

The Fusion Team has completed over 100 UK and cross border for its private, corporate and private equity clients, Fusion Corporate Partners is a sector specialist corporate finance advisory firm specialising in the sale of middle-market companies with transactional values ranging from £5 million to over £100 million.

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A Fusion Deal: Incisive Media’s Legal Week sold to ALM

ALM-Publications

ALM publications

Incisive Media‘s Legal Week, a U.K.-based business-to-business publisher, has been sold to ALM. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Incisive Media. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

ALM, which publishes The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal and other legal and business publications including Law.com and The Am Law Daily, said that the deal is its fourth acquisition since the company was purchased by the private equity firm Wasserstein & Co. in July 2014.

“This acquisition is an important next step as we expand our offerings into key international markets,” said Bill Carter, CEO of ALM. “Legal Week has a strong audience base in Europe and Asia, and an impressive collection of industry events.”

Legal Week has shared the same corporate umbrella as ALM before. In 2007, Incisive bought ALM from Wasserstein & Co. for $630 million.

Two years later, Incisive defaulted on its debt amid the global financial crisis, prompting the company’s lenders, private equity firm Apax Partners and The Royal Bank of Scotland, to take control of ALM. At the time, Legal Week remained part of Incisive, and the London-based company has been in ongoing talks with RBS and other lenders about reorganizing its debt. (Legal Week reported last year that Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer had London-based Macfarlanes had lead advisory roles in Incisive’s refinancing.)

In 2014, Apax and RBS sold ALM back to Wasserstein & Co. for a reported $417 million. Later that year ALM acquired Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory, and ALM then paid another $40 million in early 2015 to buy legal and insurance publisher Summit Professional Networks. Last summer, ALM agreed to acquire China Law & Practice from Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC for an undisclosed sum.

ALM’s president of legal media, Lenny Izzo, said the company is not planning additional acquisitions at this time, though it isn’t ruling out the idea. He said no layoffs were planned as a result of the Legal Week acquisition, adding that the move was “about strengthening our position in key markets, rather than realizing cost reductions.”

Like many media companies, ALM has seen recent reductions in staff. In April, the company filed a notice with the state of New York indicating that 61 staffers would be laid off between July and September.

Over the last four years, the legal news industry has reorganized amid a series of deals.

In 2011, Bloomberg LP bought The Bureau of National Affairs, a private information provider for clients in government, business and academia, for $990 million. The following year, LexisNexis paid $150 million to purchase Portfolio Media, the parent company of Law360. Meanwhile, the legal magazine California Lawyer closed its doors in October.

For its acquisition of Legal Week, ALM was advised by Jones Day, which has a long-standing client relationship with Wasserstein & Co. Jones Day advised the private equity firm when it initially bought ALM in 1997 and when it sold ALM a decade later. Incisive was advised by the London-based firm Macfarlanes.

Aside from publishing legal news and analysis, Legal Week organizes events, including Legal Week Private Client Forum, Trust & Estates Litigation Forum and Strategic Technology Forum, among others.

Legal Week and Incisive were represented by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion Corporate Partners (UK) Limited.

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A Fusion Deal: Creditflux sold to Mergermarket Group

CreditfluxFusion Corporate Partners are pleased to announce the completion of the sale of Ceditflux to Mergermarket Group.

Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Creditflux. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Founded and headquartered in London, Creditflux is the authoritative provider of intelligence, analysis, data and events covering CLO and credit fund pricing, investments, trading and returns.

“I am delighted that Creditflux is joining forces with Mergermarket Group, a company which shares our relentless focus on providing original and insightful intelligence to the fixed income community,” said Mike Peterson, Managing Editor and founder of Creditflux. “The combination of Debtwire, Xtract Research and Creditflux will create an information power house for the global credit market.”

The acquisition accelerates the global expansion of Mergermarket Group’s extensive real-time fixed income intelligence and data provision. The company’s Debtwire and Xtract Research products already deliver insight and analytics on corporate high yield, distressed and restructuring situations.

mergermarket“We are very excited to fortify the growth story of our global fixed income division with the acquisition of Creditflux, a highly regarded and trusted source of CLO and credit fund intelligence and data,” commented Hamilton Matthews, CEO of Mergermarket Group. “For the past decade, Debtwire and Xtract Research have blazed a trail of market-leading coverage in the field of corporate debt analysis. Creditflux provides valuable analysis of fixed income investors, giving our valued subscribers access to deeper analysis of the full credit investment cycle.”

Paul Slight, Director at Fusion, said “We have known Mike and the key shareholders at Creditfux for many years and they thoroughly deserve their reward for the hard work that has gone into building a business brand of high editorial integrity. The fit with MergerMarkets was evident from the start at a business and cultural level and I am sure Mike and his team will be able to take advantage of the commercial knowhow and international presence MergerMarket offers. This is the second transaction we have concluded with MergerMarkets in the last 3 months and on both occasion they have acted with the highest level of sensitivity during both the negotiations and completion process”

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A Fusion Deal: WTG sells HR Directors Business Summit and Pan European HR Summit to Blenheim Chalcot

Fusion Corporate Partners are pleased to announce the sale of HR Directors Business Summit and Pan European HR Summit by WTG to Blenheim Chalcot and its portfolio company Contentive

HR DirectorsFusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for WTG. The Fusion team was led by Mark Eisenstadt, director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Louis Warner, CEO, Contentive said: “We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues at HR Directors Summits. We are looking forward to continuing to grow and develop these great events, serving the HR Director communities worldwide.”

Contentive.jpgSusanna Kempe, Group CEO, WTG Events said: “The Blenheim Chalcot group have an extraordinary track record of building and developing successful businesses, Contentive being one of these, and I could not think of a better new owner of our HR portfolio. The new owners will continue to invest in the brands and add exciting digital capabilities to deliver a 365 day, 24/7 platform of intelligence and connections. I would like to thank the team for their loyalty and hard work over the years and wish them well in their new home.”

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Two New Fusion Deals: Incisive Media sells AVCJ and Unquote to Mergermarket

Fusion only - logoFusion Corporate Partners are pleased to announce the completion of the sales of two Incisive Media businesses to Mergermarket.

Asian Venture Capital Journal (AVCJ) and Unquote

Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Incisive Media. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

AVCJAVCJ and Unquote are leading sources of information on private equity and venture capital deals and fundraising activity. The brands represent a complementary extension to the Mergermarket Group suite of products that include Mergermarket, Debtwire, Dealreporter, Infinata, Xtract Research and the Remark global events division.
unquoteHeadquartered in London and Hong Kong, and with a global presence in 65 countries, Mergermarket Group provides finance and industry intelligence, analysis and data to investment banks, advisory professionals, fund managers, private equity firms, industry and corporate professionals.
“Unquote and AVCJ have strong localised footprints in the delivery of private equity and venture capital related content,” said Hamilton Matthews, CEO of Mergermarket Group. “Both brands are highly regarded in their respective markets and we are hugely excited to welcome them to Mergermarket Group as we seek to strengthen our global provision of fund and deal data, events and intelligence.”
“AVCJ and Unquote are hugely successful brands and I could not think of a better new home for them than Mergermarket Group,” commented Tim Weller, Chairman and CEO of Incisive Media. “With a strong foothold in private equity and M&A related content, Mergermarket Group is committed to further investment and development of both brands. I would like to thank the team for their loyalty and achievements over the years and I wish them well.”
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A Fusion Deal: Incisive Media has sold Accountancy Age and Financial Director to Blenheim Chalcot and its portfolio company Contentive.

Fusion only - logoFusion Corporate Partners are pleased to announce the completion of the sales of two Incisive Media businesses to Blenheim Chalcot and its portfolio company Contentive.

Accountancy Age and Financial Director

accountancy ageFusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Incisive Media. The Fusion team was led by Mark Eisenstadt, director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Charles Mindenhall, the Blenheim Chalcot co-founder, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues at Accountancy Age and Financial Director. We are looking forward to continuing to grow and develop these great businesses, serving the accounting and financial director communities worldwide.”

Tim Weller, Chairman & CEO, Incisive Media said: “The founders of Blenheim Chalcot, who recently acquired ClickZ and SES from Incisive Media, have an extraordinary track record of building and developing successful businesses and I could not think of a better new owner of Accountancy Age and Financial Director. Blenheim Chalcot will continue to invest in and develop the brands. I would like to thank the team for their loyalty and hard work over the years and wish them well in their new home.”

Blenheim Chalcot is headquartered in London and traces its roots back to netdecisions, the internet services group founded in 1998. Since then, Blenheim Chalcot has built more than 25 businesses in a variety of sectors, including IT services and outsourcing, financial services, education, travel, software, sport and media. Today, Blenheim Chalcot’s companies have sales of over £300m and employ in excess of 3,000 people. Working with entrepreneurs and co-founders, Blenheim Chalcot continues to create and build businesses in these sectors, often from the ground up, and is now one of the leading venture builders in the world.

Contentive is a digital media company, specialising in B2B publishing and information. It provides an engaging mix of news, events, intelligence and training, across digital marketing, digital finance and other business verticals. Its products and services help professionals excel in a world being transformed by digital – and its tools and platform provide marketers with access to clearly defined audiences.

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A Fusion Deal: Accenture acquires EnergyQuote JHA

EQ logoAccenture has acquired EnergyQuote JHA, a Pan-European energy management and procurement services provider. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisers to the shareholders of Energy Quote JHA. The team was led by Paul Kelly, director at Fusion.

Headquartered in London, EnergyQuote JHA provides services including energy procurement, risk management and strategy development, forecasting, energy contract management, portfolio management, carbon emissions reduction and utility bill management to clients in more than 22 European countries.

“Clients are increasingly seeking a single provider of energy procurement and management services that can address the full spectrum of needs – from reducing demand and risk to improving pricing and payment accuracy – across all geographies,” said Mike Salvino, group chief executive, Accenture Operations. “This acquisition will extend Accenture’s industry leading position in the procurement market and enhance our ability to provide comprehensive energy management services, putting us in an even better position to provide innovative business process services that deliver business outcomes to our clients.”

“Since its founding in 1992, EnergyQuote JHA has developed specialized technology and expertise in key areas that complement Accenture’s existing energy procurement and management offerings,” said Jonathan Lydiard-Wilson, CEO, EnergyQuote JHA. “This agreement with Accenture will benefit the clients of both companies, combining our proprietary technology and extensive energy market intelligence with Accenture’s own industry leading procurement capabilities and global reach.”

EnergyQuote JHA has 279 employees in offices across Europe including the UK and Romania, as well as India.

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A Fusion Deal: Global Technology Forum sold to Clarion 

Fusion Corporate Partners are pleased to announce the sale of Global Technology Forum to Clarion.

Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Incisive Media. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

For over 20 years, Global Technology Forum has provided the international oil refining and petrochemical community with an invaluable forum for networking, ideas sharing and contact building. The flagship European Refining Technology Conference (ERTC) Annual Meeting is recognised as the leading downstream event in Europe.

Global Technology Forum has long standing relationships with all of the oil majors, independent refiners, national oil companies and petrochemical operators.

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Two Fusion Deals in Two Days: The sale of energyTEAM and ENER-G Procurement

Fusion only - logoFusion Corporate Partners are pleased to announce the completion of the sale of two energy management services companies (and the third Fusion completion in the last month).

energyTEAM Limited and ENER-G Procurement Limited

Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for the vendors of both companies. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, director at Fusion.

ET LogoenergyTEAM, a privately owned company based in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, has been running for nearly 40 years. Led by joint managing directors Chris Best and Brian Rickerby, energyTEAM has over 800 UK clients including public and private sector organisations. The company provides an integrated and fully managed energy management service comprising energy procurement and energy services. energyTEAM employs 60 staff. The deal was completed on Thursday 9th April 2015.

ener-gENER-G Procurement, owned by Salford-headquartered international renewable and sustainable energy specialist ENER-G Group, is based in Studley, Warwickshire. ENER-G Procurement was formed through the merger of the energy procurement arm of CMR Consultants and Utility Auditing Limited. Both companies were acquired by ENER-G Holdings plc in 2006 and 2007 respectively. ENER-G Procurement’s clients range from single energy-intensive sites, to large multi-site groups. ENER-G Procurement employs 52 staff. The deal was completed on Friday 10th April 2015.

Both companies were sold to Warrington based procurement services firm Inprova Group. The deals have been funded through a debt facility from Barclays. Investment from private equity house LDC is fuelling Inprova’s growth plans, which consist of a UK and international acquisition strategy focused on technology and category expertise that will complement the existing business. The terms of the deals are not being disclosed.

“It is highly unusual to sell two companies to the same acquirer at almost the same time. Both deals attracted multiple offers from prospective acquirers in two separate competitive processes. However, both vendors selected Inprova Group as their preferred choice,” said Kelly. “Neither vendor knew who the other was and, beside the normal complications of any sale process, the Fusion team also had to ensure confidentiality was maintained at all times. I am proud of the way the team managed these processes and I am delighted at the successful outcomes for both of our clients”.

Inprova Group is based at Olympic Park, in Birchwood, Warrington and has been set up by the founders of purchasing firm CEL Procurement, which has been providing procurement services since 1987, and was rebranded as Inprova in preparation for the group’s ambitious growth strategy. The company launched with Bob Holt as its chairman. Mr Holt drove the expansion and stock market flotation of property repairs giant Mears Group.

“Purchasing these two energy brokers ties in with Inprova’s wider strategy of building scale and capability across new procurement markets.” Commented Inprova group chief executive Paul Kennedy. For many of our customers, utility spend is becoming an increasingly complex and volatile area of spend and as such, they require a greater level of support and guidance in this spend category. The integration of these two businesses into the Inprova Group will enable us to negotiate better energy prices as we’ll take a far larger aggregation of spend to market. It is also likely that there’ll be opportunities for us to deliver wider procurement related services into the enlarged customer base.”

“Inprova Group will be turning over in excess of £12m per year following these two acquisitions.” Kennedy added: “My aim is to at least double this figure over the next two to three years. We’ll do this through our strong customer base in existing markets, which offers significant growth opportunities and also by continuing our ambitious UK and international expansion strategy.”

The Fusion Team has completed over 80 UK and cross border Business Support Services, Energy & Environmental Services, Media, Business Information & Technology, Exhibitions & Conferences, TV Broadcast & Production, Healthcare and Online Commerce transactions. Fusion specialises in the sale of middle-market companies with transactional values ranging from £5 million to £100 million. The sales of energyTEAM Limited and ENER-G Procurement Limited are our 7th and 8th sales of energy management companies.

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A Fusion Deal: Sale of 50.1% stake in Global Pacific & Partners’ worldwide conference portfolio to ITE Group plc

22 AOWFusion Corporate Partners are pleased to announce the sale on behalf of its client Global Pacific & Partners (GPP) of a 50.1% shareholding in their worldwide oil & gas event portfolio to ITE Group Plc, a major London-listed international events company with significant capacity in global oil and gas.

The portfolio of events includes GPP’s market leading Africa Oil Week (AOW) conference held in Cape Town for the last 21 years. AOW incorporates Africa Upsteam and the Africa Independence Forum, other events in the portfolio include established oil & gas events in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

ITE2The cash consideration paid on completion for 50.1% is £16 million, with put and call options in place over a maximum of ten years, to enable ITE to acquire the remainder of the shares. The overall consideration to be capped at a maximum of £50 million.

Fusion acted exclusively for the shareholders of GPP. The shareholder founders and existing organisers of the event, will remain with the portfolio for the next few years at least.

GPP Chairman, Dr Duncan Clarke and CEO, Babette van Gessel said “We are all delighted to join forces with ITE to work together on developing the events in our conference portfolio. ITE has significant capacity and an excellent reputation in global oil and gas to carry forward the growth achieved over the last two decades for our portfolio in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

ITE Oil &Gas Portfolio Director, Daniel Read said “I am very pleased with the acquisition of a majority stake in a series of events that includes Africa Oil Week/Upstream Africa. It is the jewel in the crown of GPPs portfolio and takes our services to a number of new territories. We have a global network of staff, exhibitions and conferences that will promote Africa Oil Week to a huge worldwide audience. The scale of the industry in Africa and its potential for future growth is enormous. It’s great to know that we will be involved in keeping the leading stakeholders in the continent’s energy community connected and informed. I’m also looking forward to working closely with the team at GPP who have created and nurtured the growth of what has become the leading event for the industry in Africa.”

paul-slight_f_1_120_1Paul Slight, Director at Fusion, said “We were delighted to have worked with Duncan Clarke and Babette van Gessel and the rest of the team at GPP. The Africa Oil Week/Africa Upstream Conference is the longest-running and most prominent event held worldwide for Africa’s fast-growing oil, gas, LNG and energy industry. It will be an excellent fit with ITE’s events portfolio.”

The 22nd Africa Oil Week/Africa Upstream Conference, with the 13th Africa Independents Forum, takes place in Cape Town, South Africa, from 26th-30th October 2015 at the CTICC, with over 100 speakers, 150+ Exhibitors, and around 1,600 delegates.

UK, London & Africa, Cape Town & The Netherlands, The Hague

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