Verisk acquires energy information business Genscape from DMGT for GBP 297M

Verisk logoThe Daily Mail and General Trust, owner of the Mail titles, has sold its energy information business Genscape for GBP 297 million to US firm Verisk. Genscape collects data and offers forecasts and analytics to customers in the market, as well as providing software solutions.

New York-listed Verisk, which also provides risk analysis to the insurance sector, acquired the energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie for GBP 1.85 billion in 2015. Genscape will become part of Wood Mackenzie.

DMGT chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said, “This transaction marks another major milestone in DMGT’s continued transformation and is in line with our strategy. It will further increase the focus of the portfolio and will result in DMGT operating in five sectors, compared to ten in 2016.”

He added that the sale of Genscape was “consistent with our strategic priorities” and would add more than GBP 200 million net cash to the company’s balance sheet.

UK, London, USA, Louisville, KY & Jersey City, NJ

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Future plc acquires SmartBrief for USD 45M

Future plc logoFuture plc has acquired SmartBrief Inc., a US-based digital media publisher of targeted business news and information for USD 45 million. The initial amount will include a cash consideration of USD 32.2 million funded from the Group’s existing debt facilities, with a further USD 12.8 million to be satisfied through the issue to the vendors of 1,027,492 new ordinary shares. The agreement also includes a deferred consideration based on certain financial targets achieved over the year ending 31 July 2020, which is subject to a cap of USD 20 million.

Leveraging proprietary technology and editorial expertise, SmartBrief delivers relevant industry news in partnership with trade associations, professional societies and corporations. SmartBrief owns a database of over 5.8 million subscribers made up of senior executives, thought leaders and industry professionals.

Founded in 1999 and based in Washington DC, SmartBrief creates and distributes more than 250 digital newsletters, allowing advertisers to target and engage with decision-makers and influencers across multiple sectors including food and travel, business, education, finance, health care, retail, tech, marketing and advertising. During 2018 Future extended its successful consumer strategy into B2B through the acquisition of NewBay Media in the US, which enabled Future to access the B2B market with several market-leading titles.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “The acquisition of SmartBrief will substantially boost our presence and market position in the B2B sector and enhance our technology capabilities.”

“SmartBrief is a leading, respected provider of sector-focused newsletters and daily email briefings covering a range of key verticals. The addition of SmartBrief’s must-read information products to our portfolio will further extend the reach of our B2B operations. The acquisition will be earnings enhancing, and we have identified several exciting opportunities to leverage SmartBrief’s proprietary technology in both our B2C and B2B business.”

UK, London & USA, Washington DC, WA

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Penske Media Corporation acquires Art Market Monitor

Penske Media CorporationPenske Media Corporation, the parent company of ARTnews, is to acquire Art Market Monitor, an online publication run by its founding editor Marion Maneker since 2008. Through the acquisition, Maneker will become editorial director of ArtNews Media, LLC, a company that oversees ARTnews and Art in America. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Jay Penske, Chairman and CEO of PMC, said, “In the art world, where a significantly fragmented audience spans so many websites, newsletters, and brands, PMC sees the opportunity to augment these exceptional brands with further investments in content and editorial, complemented by robust data and analytic tools, and growing an engaging live media and event business. This acquisition adds a strong subscription business that expands PMC’s reach and influence in the art vertical.”

Prior to launching Art Market Monitor, Maneker was the publisher of HarperCollins’s business books imprint from 2002 to 2007. He also served as an editor at Simon & Schuster, and his writing has appeared in New York Magazine, the New York Sun, and Slate.

Art Market Monitor offers in-depth news and analysis about the art market, and also offers a premium subscription service. In addition to its editorial offerings, the website produces a podcast called Artelligence.

PMC acquired ARTnews and Art in America in 2018. Other publications in its portfolio include Variety, WWD, Robb Report, Rolling Stone, and Indiewire.

USA, Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY

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Future Media Group acquires W Magazine from Condé Nast

Future Media GroupFuture Media Group has acquired ‘W’ magazine from Condé Nast. The acquisition will bring W together with Surface and Watch Journal to form Future Media Group. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Group will continue to publish eight print issues of W annually while also expanding the brand’s digital and experiential footprint. Future Media Group has named Sara Moonves as the magazine’s new editor-in-chief. Moonves, who previously worked at Vogue and at T:The New York Times Style Magazine, joined the staff of W as Style Director in 2017.

Marc Lotenberg, CEO of Future Media Group, said “W has always been an extraordinary and visionary arbiter of style. For over 45 years, its pages have been filled with indelible imagery and exciting journalism. We look forward to honoring and building on that legacy. We know that W will serve as a perfect complement to the publications already in our portfolio.”

“Sara has impeccable taste and a keen eye for how a media brand should evolve in today’s fast-paced media landscape. She has enormous credibility in the fashion community, not to mention a forward-thinking sensibility that will bring W beyond its core print distribution into various offline, online and augmented formats.”

Future Media Group will operate W offices in Paris, Milan and New York, as well as a soon-to-be established bureau in Los Angeles.

USA, New York, NY

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios acquires Bayou City Broadcasting for $165M

Entertainment StudiosEntertainment Studios, Inc., one of the US’s largest independent producers and distributors of film and television, with 43 shows on the air, and owner of nine 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 160 million subscribers, has acquired Bayou City Broadcasting Evansville, Inc., and Bayou City Broadcasting Lafayette, Inc for $165 million. Founder Byron Allen is purchasing the station groups through his company, Allen Media Broadcasting LLC. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Byron Allen, who recently joined Sinclair Broadcast Group to successfully acquire the Fox/Disney 21 Regional Sports Networks for $10.6 billion, and also purchased The Weather Channel in 2018, has publicly stated he has been aggressively pursuing additional media assets to purchase. The purchase of these four Bayou City Broadcasting entities — WEVV (CBS) & WEEV (Fox) in Evansville, Indiana and KLAF (NBC) and KADN (Fox) in Lafayette, Louisiana — provides Allen’s television unit with a broader audience and strategically positions the company in broadcast and digital media.

Bayou City Broadcasting Owner/President/CEO DuJuan McCoy said, “Byron Allen is a visionary, and a brilliant entrepreneur who always gets it done. [His] companies, which exemplify excellence, are perfectly positioned to continue the strong tradition these stations have in serving their communities.”

Allen’s expansion into broadcast television is the latest step Entertainment Studios has taken in further expanding the global reach of its programming and content. The Entertainment Studios divisions now include: broadcast television network affiliates, streaming services, broadcast television syndication, production and distribution of 43 television programs, nine 24/7 HD television networks, theatrical motion picture production, acquisition and global distribution, digital movie acquisition and distribution, and global news publishing – making Entertainment Studios one of the largest privately-held media companies in the world.

USA, Los Angeles, CA & The Woodlands, TX

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Sinclair Broadcast Group to acquire 21 regional sports networks from Disney for $10.6 Billion

Sinclair Broadcast GroupSinclair Broadcast Group and The Walt Disney Company have entered into a definitive agreement under which Sinclair will acquire the equity interests in 21 Regional Sports Networks and Fox College Sports, which were acquired by Disney in its acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.. The transaction ascribes a total enterprise value to the RSNs equal to $10.6 billion, reflecting a purchase price of $9.6 billion, after adjusting walt disney companyfor minority equity interests. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The RSN portfolio, which excludes the YES Network, is the largest collection of RSNs in the marketplace today, with an extensive footprint that includes exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 Major League Baseball teams, 16 National Basketball Association teams, and 12 National Hockey League teams. In 2018, the RSN portfolio delivered a combined $3.8 billion in revenue across 74 million subscribers.

The RSNs will be acquired via a newly formed indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair, Diamond Sports Group LLC. Byron Allen has agreed to become an equity and content partner in a newly formed indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair and an indirect parent of Diamond. Mr. Allen, who bought The Weather Channel in 2018, is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Entertainment Studios, a global media, content and technology company.

Sinclair expects to capitalize Diamond with $1.4 billion in cash equity, comprised of a combination of approximately $0.7 billion of cash on hand and a contribution of $0.7 billion in the form of new fully committed debt at Sinclair Television Group, Inc. In addition, the purchase price will be funded with $1.0 billion of fully committed privately-placed preferred equity of a newly-formed indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair and direct parent of RSN Holding Company. The remainder of the purchase price is being funded by $8.2 billion of fully committed secured and unsecured debt incurred by Diamond. The transaction will be treated as an asset sale for tax purposes, with Sinclair receiving a full step-up in basis.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both Sinclair and Disney.

Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair, said, “This is a very exciting transaction for Sinclair to be able to acquire highly complementary assets. While consumer viewing habits have shifted, the tradition of watching live sports and news remains ingrained in our culture. As one of the largest local news producers in the country and an experienced producer of sports content, we are ideally positioned to transfer our skills to deliver and expand our focus on greater premium sports programming.”

“The transaction is expected to be highly accretive to free cash flow and brings consolidated net leverage to 4.7x and 5.1x through the preferred financing. This acquisition is an extraordinary opportunity to diversify Sinclair’s content sources and revenue streams with high-quality assets that are driving live viewing. We also see this as an opportunity to realize cross-promotional collaboration, and synergistic benefits related to programming and production.”

USA, Baltimore & Burbank, CA & Hunt Valley, MD

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Centaur Media Plc agrees sale of travel and meetings exhibitions to Northstar

centaur-logoCentaur, the international provider of business information and specialist consultancy, has entered into a conditional agreement to sell Centaur Media Travel and Meetings Limited, the owner of the Business Travel Show and The Meetings Show, to Northstar Travel Media UK Limited, a leading B2B information and marketing solutions company focused on the global travel and meetings industries. Completion of the disposal is expected to take place on 30 April 2019.

The disposal follows Centaur’s decision last October to explore the divestment of its smaller businesses in order to simplify the Group’s structure and to focus management resources on its leading brands. Centaur announced on 1 April 2019 that it has raised £5m from the sale of its financial services business, which includes brands such as Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy.

Northstar will pay a cash consideration of £9.25m (subject to customary post-completion adjustments) for CTM, which formed part of the Group’s professional services division. Centaur will consider the best use for the sale proceeds following the completion of its divestment review.

Centaur’s professional services division comprises The Lawyer and a portfolio of market leading event brands across three sectors: travel and meetings, human resources and engineering.

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive of Centaur, said, “[This] is another important milestone in Centaur’s ongoing transformation. As we focus on building more robust and stronger recurring revenues, we are reducing Group complexity and overheads that will allow us to deliver efficiencies and improve our operating margins.”

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Centaur’s travel and meetings exhibitions made normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation operating profit of £1.7m (before central overhead allocations), up from £1.6m in 2017, on revenues of £6.4m (2017: £6.1m). At 31 December 2018, the business had gross assets of £1.7m.

UK, London & USA, Secaucus, NJ

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