Disney increases its bid for Fox to $71.3BN

walt disney companyThe Walt Disney Company has upped its bid to acquire 21st Century Fox by 35 % to $71.3 billion, following a rival bid from the Comcast Corporation last week for $65bn (£48.6bn) in cash.

Disney has also moved from of an all-stock deal for Fox, owner of assets including X-Men film studio 20th Century Fox, and a 39% stake in Sky, to a 50/50 mix of cash and shares.

USA, Burbank, CA & New York, NY

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Informa completes the takeover of UBM

InformaInforma has completed the takeover of UBM. The new Informa Group will employ more than 11,000 people. It will own and operate a portfolio of more than 500 exhibitions brands in 15 industry verticals including Health & Nutrition, Life Sciences & Pharma, and Real Estate & Construction. In addition, it will own a portfolio of confex/conference brands, a range of specialist information and intelligence brands; plus have capabilities in B2B consulting and marketing service.

The board of Informa will be as follows:

  • Derek Mapp (Non-Executive Chairman)
  • Greg Lock (Deputy Chairman)
  • Stephen A. Carter CBE (Chief Executive)
  • Gareth Wright (Group Finance Director)
  • Gareth Bullock (Senior Independent Non-Executive Director)
  • Mary McDowell (Non-Executive Director)
  • David Wei (Non-Executive Director)
  • Helen Owers (Non-Executive Director)
  • Cindy Rose (Non-Executive Director)
  • Stephen Davidson (Non-Executive Director
  • David Flaschen (Non-Executive Director)
  • John Rishton (Non-Executive Director)

Company announcements:

Previous reporting

UK, London

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Informa

UBM

 

American Media acquires celebrity and kids group titles from Bauer Media USA

American Media IncAmerican Media, Inc., has agreed to purchase the celebrity group and the teenage and kids group of Bauer Media USA. Details of the transaction were not disclosed but it is expected to close on or about July 1, 2018. With this agreement, AMI will take ownership of the complementary print and digital properties for the 13 brands within these two groups. Titles such as In Touch, Life & Style, Closer, J-14 and Teen Boss will round out AMI’s current portfolio.

AMI owns and operates the leading print and digital celebrity and active lifestyle media brands in the United States. AMI’s titles include Us Weekly, OK!, Star, Men’s Journal, Muscle & Fitness, Mr. Olympia Contest, National Enquirer and other celebrity titles. AMI also manages nine different digital sites including Usmagazine.com, OKmagazine.com, RadarOnline.com, MensJournal.com, MuscleandFitness.com and other digital and social properties. AMI’s magazines have a combined total circulation of 5.3+ million and reach more than 51 million men and women each month. AMI’s digital properties reach approximately 60 million unique visitors monthly.

Chairman and CEO David J. Pecker, said, “It gives me great pleasure to announce this acquisition which provides AMI with an extraordinary opportunity to further build upon the success of our entertainment group. AMI has built an award-winning portfolio of celebrity brands second to none in the industry. Our leadership team will remain focused on growth, innovation and continued disruption with today’s changes designed to further reinforce our leading position in the publishing industry and foster remarkable storytelling across all of our brands and platforms.”

USA, New York, NY & Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Keywords acquires Blindlight for up to $10M

keywordsKeywords Studios, the international technical services provider to the global video games industry, has acquired Blindlight LLC for a consideration of up to $10m, from the founder, Lev Chapelsky.

Blindlight achieved EBITDA of an average of $1m per annum over the three-year period to 31 December 2017. Under the terms of the acquisition Keywords is paying an initial $3.64m in cash and will issue 64,521 new ordinary shares in Keywords to the seller on the first anniversary of the acquisition which will then be subject to orderly market provisions for a further 12 months. Deferred consideration of up to $4.8m will be payable to the seller in cash depending on the performance of the business in the 12-month periods to the first and second anniversaries of the acquisition.

Founded in 2001 and based in Hollywood, California, Blindlight enjoys a leading position in the provision of Hollywood production services for the video games industry. The company works on behalf of game publishers and developers in procuring specialised talent and managing the entire production processes for the parts of games that benefit from Hollywood production resources. Blindlight’s service disciplines include voiceover production, celebrity acquisition and rights management, game writing, music, sound design and motion capture.

Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios, said, “Keywords and Blindlight have got to know each other well over the past three years and we see good opportunities to leverage both businesses to offer a wider range of world leading services to our clients. We are delighted to welcome Lev and the rest of the team to the Keywords family. Following our recent acquisition of music services companies, Cord Worldwide and Laced, we see excellent opportunities for Blindlight to bring these services to Los Angeles, as well as providing access to further opportunities for our downstream production services of translation and localised voice over.”

Ireland, Dublin & USA, West Hollywood, CA

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CloserStill acquires majority stake in Masie Productions’ “Learning Conference”

CloserStillCloserStill Media, the London-based exhibition and conference organiser, has entered a joint venture with Masie Productions to produce future editions of the Learning Conference in Orlando. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Learning Conference draws around 2,000 delegates from the technology and corporate learning sectors each year and more than 40 commercial sponsors in the learning and technology field. In 2017, former First Lady Michelle Obama and actor John Lithgow were keynote speakers and Leslie Odom Jr., author of “Failing Up”, and star of Broadway hit musical Hamilton and author Dan Pink will head the international speaker faculty of ‘Learning 2018’ in November.

Elliott Masie is among the most well-known figures in the global eLearning industry. He is founder of the Masie Center, an international learning lab, and chair of The Learning Consortium, a 20 year old collaboration of Fortune 500 companies. Under the new partnership with CloserStill, Masie will continue to lead the programme curation and act as host for the Learning Conference for the new JV company – CSM Learning, LLC.

A new focus on disruptive technologies will form part of Learning 2018, with the introduction of Tech @Learning – a multi-strand content programme focussing on adaptive learning, artificial intelligence and machine learning, emerging assessment technologies, chatbots, immersive realities, edTech and venture innovations.

CloserStill’s Learning Group Director, Mark Penton, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to be working with Elliott and his team. Elliott is an innovator and a disruptor and we feel that our combined global experience in the learning world will make for a very exciting new era for the Learning Conference which we have long admired and respected”.

UK, London & USA, Saratoga Springs, NY

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Supercell Invests $5M in Redemption Games

Supercell FinlandFinland-based game company Supercell has made its first American investment with a $5 million minority stake in Redemption Games, an innovative game development studio in Carlsbad, California. Supercell is known for hit mobile gaming titles “Hay Day,” “Clash of Clans,” “Boom Beach,” and “Clash Royale.”

The investment is for a minority stake in Redemption Games, which will continue as an independent studio with full control of its operations, and is not part of a publishing relationship, but rather to support the development of new intellectual property and to bring it to market. Witz and Dan Lin, co-founders of Redemption, worked together for 20 years, collaborating for 10 of those in mobile gaming. They sold their prior company, Mob Science, to Jam City (previously SGN) in Los Angeles where they led the design and development of the top grossing game “Cookie Jam”.

Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen, said, “In our investments, we are always looking for the best teams with great culture. Redemption Games has an amazing team of experienced developers, who have a solid track record and true passion for making great puzzle games. We’ve been impressed by their craftsmanship and distinctive approach to game development. This is our first investment outside of Europe and we couldn’t be more excited to partner up with the Redemption Games team.”

Finland, Helsinki & USA, Carlsbad, CA

CRU Group acquires Steel Market Update

CRU GroupCRU Group, the metals, mining and fertilizer consultancy, has acquired the US-based Steel Market Update conference, training and newsletter business. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2008, Steel Market Update provides and analyses real-time pricing, market trends, and relevant information related to the North American flat rolled steel market through its newsletter, website and events.

Robert Perlman, Chairman of CRU, said, “We are delighted to be joining forces with John and his team. Our businesses have a shared commitment to independent and insightful coverage of the steel market. CRU’s global position will be greatly strengthened by SMU’s coverage of North America. The SMU brand will go from strength to strength under the CRU umbrella.”

UK, London & USA, Hobe Sound, FL

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