Media Development Investment Fund acquires majority stake in South Africa’s Mail & Guardian

MDIF Media Development Investment FundMedia Development Investment Fund, a New York-based not-for-profit investment fund for independent media in emerging markets, has acquired a majority stake in South African media company Mail & Guardian. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The restructured ownership sees M&G’s Chief Executive Officer, Hoosain Karjieker, acquire a minority stake in the business as part of a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction.

The Mail & Guardian is an award-winning South African title edited by Khadija Patel who was this week named as one of Africa’s leading talents by the New African magazine.

Trevor Ncube, the newspaper’s former publisher, said “My partner for 14 years, the MDIF, under the leadership of Harlan Mandel have put forward a compelling case plan that will ensure the survival of the M&G well into the future. Ownership of the M&G is equivalent to carrying a baton that gets passed on from generation to generation with just this underlying principle: Editorial independence is sacrosanct. I have often said my role over the past 25 years has been more of a custodian of a great South African asset, than an owner.”

USA, New York, NY & South Africa, Johannesburg

Certain Acquires Gather Digital, Investing in the Next Generation of Mobile Event Applications

CertainCertain, the leader in enterprise event automation, today announced it has acquired Gather Digital, a mobile event application suite for enterprises, associations and educational institutions. With this acquisition, Certain is further strengthening its mobile development and data integration capabilities, taking advantage of the experience that Gather Digital’s extended team brings and offering customers unprecedented insight into the mobile journey to determine the event attendee’s true sentiments. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Gather Digital creates native and mobile web event applications with integrated personalized agendas, event content, live polling, surveys, continuing education credits, group meetings, lead retrieval and gamification. Gather Digital’s engagement apps allow the company’s clients to leverage mobile as a channel to capture intent throughout events, and build deeper relationships with their event attendees. Their customers include five of the world’s largest financial services companies, the nation’s leading pharmaceutical/ life science organization and premier technology and Fortune 1000 corporations. With the acquisition, Certain will continue to grow its U.S. presence and tap the North Carolina Research Triangle’s burgeoning tech hotbed for sales, marketing and product talent.

“Certain is focused on enabling our customers to gather the most relevant data from event attendees to drive better business results from events,” said Peter Micciche, CEO of Certain. “By acquiring Gather Digital and the impressive mobile capabilities the team has developed, we’re continuing to invest in our data strategy – and the people at the forefront of delivering innovative technology for world class enterprises.”

USA, San Francisco, CA & Chapel Hill, NC

CloserStill acquires Online Educa Berlin

CloserStillCloserStill Media is to acquire Online Educa Berlin, a cross-sector conference on technology-

supported learning and training, from ICWE GMbH for an undisclosed sum. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in Berlin, Germany in 1995, OEB is an annual international conference on technology-supported learning and training (e-learning), welcoming over 2,000 delegates from across the corporate, education and public sectors, and including an exhibition featuring more than 80 international Edtech companies and institutions.

The acquisition will complement CloserStill’s existing event brand, Learning Technologies, which has events in Paris and London.

Commenting on the acquisition and the launch plans for Learning Technologies Germany in 2018 alongside OEB, CloserStill’s learning group director, Mark Penton, said: “We are genuinely excited to bring the highly respected OEB event into our family of market-leading events and to work with its founder Rebecca Stromeyer.

“We see a significant opportunity to evolve OEB into one of Europe’s most important learning events with the introduction of our Learning Technologies brand into the heart of the European marketplace.”

Germany, Berlin, UK, London

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PenskeMedia acquires FashInvest

PensPenske Media CorporationkeMedia Corporation and its subsidiary Fairchild Media today announced the acquisition of FashInvest, the innovator in connecting the fashion-tech, fashion, retail, and branded consumer goods sectors with the finance and investment sectors. This acquisition follows Penske Media and its subsidiary Fairchild Media’s acquisition last month of Sourcing Journal, a media brand for global executives focused on the sourcing and manufacturing industries. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

FashInvest, known for being “where fashion meets finance,” began as a series of educational industry events in 2009 and has rapidly evolved to now be a leading global media resource. FashInvest’s daily online news posts, reports, and exclusive interviews on the emerging fashion tech and fashion arenas have established it as a news authority for a growing number of fashion-tech and fashion entrepreneurs seeking the latest news on who has received funding, who is providing the funding, and what strategies are attracting financing.

“FashInvest has tapped into the vital intersection of finance and fashion—a business that has been built over the last decade on discovering and developing emerging fashion and retail brands and their access to capital markets.  Fairchild Media has consistently been the leader in coverage of well-established global fashion brands, and with the acquisition of FashInvest the opportunity to deepen our coverage of emerging companies, start-ups, and the financial institutions (VC’s, Private Equity, etc.) that are shaping the future fashion industry is dramatically enhanced,” said PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske.

USA, New York, NY, Wilmington, DE

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Meredith Corporation To Acquire Time Inc. To Create Premier Media And Marketing Company

Time Inc.Meredith Corporation has announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Time Inc. for $18.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.8 billion, expected to close during the first quarter of calendar 2018.

The deal will create a diversified media and marketing company with $4.8 billion in revenues, including $2.7 billion of advertising revenues. Additionally, Meredith anticipates generating cost synergies of $400 million to $500 million in the first full two years of operation.

Time Inc. is a multinational mass media corporation which owns and publishes over 100 magazine brands, including its namesake Time, Sports Illustrated, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Fortune, People, InStyle, Life, Golf Magazine, Southern Living, Essence, Real Simple, and Entertainment Weekly. It also has subsidiaries which it co-operates with the UK magazine house Time Inc. UK, whose major titles include What’s on TV, NME, Country Life, and Wallpaper. Time Inc. also co-operates over 60 websites and digital-only titles.

“We are creating a premier media company serving nearly 200 million American consumers across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile, and social platforms positioned for growth,” said Meredith Corporation Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. “We are adding the rich content-creation capabilities of some of the media industry’s strongest national brands to a powerful local television business that is generating record earnings, offering advertisers and marketers unparalleled reach to American adults.”

Rich Battista, President and CEO of Time Inc., stated, “I am proud of our accomplishments and thank the talented teams across the Company for their extraordinary work, relentless commitment, and passion. Together, we moved quickly and successfully to launch, grow, and advance our multi-platform offerings during unprecedented times in the media sector. Time Inc. now engages over 230 million consumers across digital and print every month through a portfolio of premium, iconic brands that are well positioned to continue to be powerful voices in media for many years to come.”

USA, New York, NY, Desmoines, IA

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Dotdigital acquires Comapi group of companies

dotdigital

The dotdigital Group, the provider of intuitive software as a service (“SaaS”) and managed services to digital marketing professionals, has acquired Comapi, a business focused on the omni-channel messaging and cloud communication market.

Dotdigital will pay £11 million in cash plus a potential further £1.2 million in share options subject to performance targets over a 2 year post-acquisition period and remaining with the business.

Headquartered in Cheltenham with approximately 30 employees, Comapi has built a scalable software platform that allows businesses to communicate with their consumers across multiple conversational messaging channels including the growing market for live chat.

Comapi had revenues of £7.8 million which are primarily recurring and EBITDA of £1.2 million for the year ended December 2016. Revenues for Comapi in the current financial year are growing at approximately 15% based on their SAAS business model. The board expect there to be opportunities to further expand revenues once the integrations have been completed. Comapi has just completed a £2.7million R&D programme and on completion of the transaction will have a positive net asset position. The two subsidiaries combined are currently cash breakeven after spending roughly £1.0 million on R&D in the current year.

dotDigital Chief Executive Officer, Milan Patel, commented, “By adding Comapi to our business, dotdigital is executing on its vision to be an omni-channel marketing automation platform. Comapi has built an impressive platform that, integrated with our software, will allow our customers access to the next generation of consumer engagement marketing technology aiding retention and boosting our competitive advantage in securing new customers”.

UK, London & Cheltenham

Be Heard Group to acquire The Corner

Be HeardBe Heard has acquired The Corner Communications (London) Limited, an integrated creative agency based in Soho, London, for an initial cash price of £7.95 million with a further deferred earn-out payment of up to £4.05 millionBe Heard announced it is to raise £6.2 million to fund the acquisition through a new share issue and £4.0 million through the issue of convertible loan notes.

Peter Scott, Executive Chairman of Be Heard, said: “The Corner is an excellent fit with Be Heard – a modern, integrated agency that ‘gets’ how consumers digest technology.  This is exactly the step forward we need to help brands and marketers meet today’s challenges across the customer journey.”

UK, London 

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