Freeman acquires Info Salons

FreemanBrand experience company Freeman has acquired digital technology company Info Salons, a leading provider of registration and attendee database management solutions. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, Freeman will benefit from Info Salons’ nearly 30 years of experience in the industry and its event technology solutions which aim to improve online and on-site registration processes and unlock attendee data and sales leads for show organizers. Going forward, Info Salons applications and tools will be fully integrated into the digital solutions offered by Freeman.

Richard Maranville, chief digital officer at Freeman, said, “We’re always looking for ways to simplify the event and show planning processes for our clients; and investing in leading digital technologies enables us to provide the robust capabilities show organizers need to thrive in the ever-evolving events industry. With the integration of Info Salons’ digital tools into our event management offerings, we’ll be better equipped to help our clients get the most out of their attendee data.”

USA, Dallas, TX & Australia, Surry Hills

Blackstone reportedly near a deal to buy PennWell for around $300M

According to an article on the Forbes website, Blackstone Group is close to finalising a deal to acquire PennWell Corp for around $300 million. The company has estimated revenue of around $170 million. Forbes sources say the deal is being made specifically through Clarion Events, the London-based trade-show operator that Blackstone acquired last summer.

Read the Forbes article here.

USA, New York. NY & Tulsa, OK

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Future plc acquires Newbay Media

FUTURE-logo-Future plc, a global platform for specialist media, has acquired Newbay Media LLC, a US based information and events business, for an initial net consideration of $12.25 million (£8.62 million) cash and $1.55 million (£1.09 million) shares, with a further potential deferred consideration of up to $5.60 million (£3.94 million) in January 2019, depending on the future performance of the acquired business.

Newbay’s information and events business operates in three verticals: Television & Video, Entertainment & Educational Technology and Music. Newbay’s brands include Music Week, Twice and Broadcasting & Cable. Newbay generated EBITDA of $4.2 million in the year ending 31 December 2017.

The acquisition has been funded in part by an increase in Future’s debt facilities of £5m with the remainder of the cash consideration, as well as the expected cash consideration of the acquisition of the Haymarket titles recently announced, funded out of existing debt facilities

The initial share consideration constitutes 283,692 new ordinary shares of 15p each (the “Consideration Shares”) with a holdback on a potential further 18,303 shares. The Consideration Shares will be subject to lock-up restrictions for a period of three months from the date of issue.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, commented: “This acquisition strengthens our presence in the US, and together with our recent UK acquisition expands our market leadership in music and consumer electronics. Newbay’s B2B titles, including those in audio visual and television broadcasting, will further diversify our revenue streams whilst bringing additional valuable B2B experience to complement Future’s B2C businesses.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Inc. acquires The Weather Channel

Entertainment StudiosEntertainment Studios, one of the largest independent producers and distributors of film and television with nearly 160 million aggregate subscribers across the US, has acquired The Weather Group, parent company of The Weather Channel television network and Local Now streaming service. Byron Allen, founder and owner of Entertainment Studios, purchased the Weather Group through his company, Allen Media LLC, from The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, and Comcast/NBC Universal.

The Weather Channel is one of the largest cable television networks not owned by a major conglomerate and is the nation’s only 24-hour source of national storm coverage. Harris Poll has ranked The Weather Channel as the “TV News Brand of the Year” for eight years in a row. The network recently launched a community platform, weloveweather.tv, to create a two-way dialogue with fans.

Allen said, “The Weather Channel is one of the most trusted and extremely important cable networks, with information vitally important to the safety and protection of our lives. We welcome The Weather Channel, which has been seen in American households for nearly four decades, to our cable television networks division. The acquisition of The Weather Channel is strategic, as we begin our process of investing billions of dollars over the next five years to acquire some of the best media assets around the world.”

USA, Los Angeles, CA & Atlanta, GA

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Digital First Media acquires the Boston Herald for $11.9M

Digital First MediaDigital First Media, one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States, has completed the acquisition of the Boston Herald for $11.9 million at an auction in which they outbid competitors GateHouse Media and Florida private equity firm Revolution Capital Group. The auction followed Herald publisher Patrick Purcell filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2017, citing declining revenue and readership.

Established in 1846 as a single two-sided sheet of news published by a group of Boston printers, the Boston Herald today has a circulation of 64,500, with an online following at BostonHerald.com.

Guy Gilmore, DFM’s chief operating officer, said, “DFM is pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of the Boston Herald through the next chapter of its storied history. The Herald is integral to the fabric of the great city of Boston”.

USA, Denver, CO & Boston, MA

Silver Lake Partners and Battery Ventures to acquire EDR from DMGT for $205M

Silver LakeSilver Lake and Battery Ventures have agreed to acquire EDR, a leading provider of real estate data and software-as-a-service, from the Daily Mail and General Trust plc for $205m. The investors areBattery Ventures global, growth-oriented firms focused on partnerships with market-leading technology companies. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks and is subject to
customary closing conditions.

EDR is a leader in property due-diligence and risk management technology and information. The company’s solutions enable clients — including environmental consultants and engineers, appraisers, and lenders — to manage real estate due diligence processes efficiently and effectively.

Joe Osnoss, Managing Director at Silver Lake, said, ”The real estate sector is continuing to evolve with the introduction of new technologies. EDR has a rich history of thought leadership in this area, and we plan to invest behind the company’s developing product roadmap to serve its important client ecosystem.”

Battery Ventures General Partner Scott Tobin added, ”We look forward to working closely with Chris Aronson and EDR’s management team. We believe that our investment will enable EDR to accelerate growth — including in the state-of-the-art Collateral360 SaaS platform — and extend its reputation as a leader in real estate data and software with a developing range of products and services.”

UK, London & USA, Shelton, CT

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Bethesda acquires BattleCry Studios

BethesdaBethesda Softworks has acquired fellow ZeniMax Media subsidiary BattleCry Studios, now branded Bethesda Game Studios Austin. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This growth will mark the second studio expansion since the founding of Bethesda’s in-house game studio in 2001 and the newest addition since Bethesda Game Studios Montreal in late 2015. The Texas-based studio will be led by Studio Director Doug Mellencamp. BattleCry Studios, which was formed in 2012 as a subsidiary of Zenimax Media, is responsible for the shelved free-to-play title of the same name, described as a “multiplayer online action combat game” by former executive producer and president Rich Vogel. The project was suspended in October 2015 in favour of other endeavours, and the studio went on to aid Id Software with post-release content for the multiplayer mode of DOOM.

Mellencamp said, “We’re excited to join Bethesda Game Studios and look forward to working together on some of the industry’s most exciting new games. Austin’s incredible game development scene and talent will also allow us to push our games further than fans have imagined.”

USA, Rockville, MD & Austin, TX

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