AgriBriefing sells its UK agriculture division to Arc Media Holdings

AgriBriefing, the provider of agricultural commodity pricing benchmarks, analytics, and market data, has sold its UK agriculture division to Arc Media Holdings, a global events, data and media platform backed by investment funds managed by Eagle Tree Capital. It is Arc’s first acquisition in the UK. According to reporting on Flashes and Flames, Agribriefing was sold for £20 million.

The information assets which will transfer include Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer & Arable Farming alongside all related digital platforms plus events brands LAMMA, CropTec and the British Farming Awards.

Commenting on the transaction, Rory Brown, CEO of AgriBriefing said:

“While we are pleased to announce the next evolution of AgriBriefing, in many ways today is a bittersweet day. The acquisition of Farmers Guardian from UBM in 2012 represented the original pillar around which we have built our company and we are enormously proud of the job our teams have done over the past 10 years.

“Following discussions with Simon (Foster) and his team we quickly realised that they shared a similar underlying belief in the future of successful media and community platforms. We do not feel we could have found a better home for our transferring brands, and the teams who work on them. We will continue to cheer their future success from the sidelines as the UK agriculture business enters its next stage.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

IMServ to be sold by Schneider Electric to Blue Water Energy

IMServ Europe Limited has announced to customers that their owners, Schneider Electric, have signed an agreement with Blue Water Energy LLP for the sale of IMServ.

Bluewater is a London-based middle-market private equity firm, specialising in the energy sector.

IMServ is a provider of metering and data services to the energy market and has around 525 employees, primarily in the UK.

The date of the closing, should be effective in Q3 2021.

More details to follow.

UK, London & UK, Milton Keynes & France, Rueil-Malmaison

Moody’s Corporation to acquire RMS from DMGT for $2 billion

Moody’s Corporation is acquiring RMS from Daily Mail and General Trust plc for approximately £1,425 million (approximately $2 billion). RMS is a global provider of climate and natural disaster risk modelling and analytics. It services the global property and casualty insurance and reinsurance industries.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2021, RMS generated £33 million adjusted operating profit and £38 million EBITDA from revenues of £242 million. Based on these figures, the acquisition is made for is a premium valuation of more than 30 times EBITDA.

Moody’s reports that, subject to final conformity to their accounting policies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021, RMS is expected to generate revenue of approximately $320 million and adjusted operating income of approximately $55 million.

The acquisition will immediately increase Moody’s insurance data and analytics business to nearly $500 million in revenue. RMS is expected to generate up to $150 million of incremental run-rate revenue by 2025.

“Today’s leaders face a complex, interlinked world of risks and stakeholders,” said Rob Fauber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Moody’s. “In the context of a global pandemic, the climate crisis and increasing cyberattacks, our customers must manage a wider range of risks than ever before. We are excited to add RMS and its team of world-class data scientists, modelers and software engineers to the Moody’s family to help accelerate solutions that enable customers to build resilience and make better decisions.”

Moody’s will fund the transaction through a combination of cash-on-hand and the issuance of new debt. The acquisition is expected to close in late 3Q 2021.

USA, New York, NY & Newark, CA & UK, London

News Corp to acquire OPIS

News Corp is to acquire the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and related assets from S&P Global and IHS Markit.

News Corp is acquiring OPIS for $1.15 billion in a cash transaction, subject to customary adjustments, and also expects to receive an estimated tax benefit of $180 million as part of the transaction. S&P Global and IHS Markit announced in May their exploration of the divestiture of the businesses to ensure a timely merger of both companies. News Corp’s acquisition of OPIS is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the consummation of the S&P Global and IHS Markit merger, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this calendar year. OPIS will become part of Dow Jones’ Professional Information Business (PIB), which includes Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones Newswires and Factiva. OPIS has a revenue base that is nearly 100% digital, 95% recurring and operates at approximately 50+% Adjusted EBITDA margins.

Founded in 1977, OPIS today is a global industry standard for benchmark and reference pricing and news and analytics for the oil, natural gas liquids and biofuels industries, and a growing provider of insights and analytics in renewables and carbon pricing. At its core, OPIS provides end-to-end pricing and analytics information to the energy industry from the refinery to the retailer.

“OPIS will be the cornerstone for a rising commodities, energy and renewables digital business that we are convinced will have a positive impact on Dow Jones and News Corp,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “We certainly believe OPIS and Dow Jones will be more than the sum of their valuable parts. Dow Jones is ideally positioned to accelerate growth at OPIS, while OPIS will be a powerful pillar, alongside Risk & Compliance, in the fast-growing Dow Jones Professional Information Business.”

OPIS and related assets revenues have grown at an approximate 10% CAGR, including acquisitions, since 2016, as disclosed by IHS Markit, and grew at a consistent rate through the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the 2014-2015 oil market downturn and the current pandemic. In its current fiscal year (ending November 30, 2021), OPIS is expected to generate approximately $129 million in revenues, Adjusted EBITDA margins exceeding 50%.In its fiscal year ended November 30, 2020, OPIS generated revenue and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $121 million and $61 million, respectively.

OPIS, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, also has offices in Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Romania and Singapore. The company employs approximately 400 professionals globally.

News Corp will report its full year 2021 results on August 5, 2021.

USA, New York, NY & USA, Rockville, MD

A Fusion Deal: MGP sold to WebMD Health Corp.

MGP, an award-winning publisher and multimedia company with over 26 years’ expertise in the dissemination of guidance-related content to support healthcare professionals across the NHS, has been sold to WebMD Health Corp. an Internet Brands company and a leader in health information services for physicians, other healthcare professionals and consumers. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor to MGP. The Fusion team was led by Mark Eisenstadt, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Fusion was fortunate to represent MGP, a fast growing market leader, that by providing must have clinical information, provides an invaluable service to medical professionals. Plugged in to the worldwide WebMD network, they will now exploit exciting synergies that will help expand both their offering and reach to further aid medical professionals in improving patient care. It was a pleasure to work with the highly professional and experienced management team who thoroughly deserve their reward. They have built a business that truly makes a positive contribution to healthcare and I look forward to the next chapter of the story.” Mark Eisenstadt, Fusion.

The acquisition combines the core competencies of MGP with that of Medscape, WebMD’s flagship global brand for healthcare professionals. Medscape and its affiliate network of platforms currently reach over 5 million physicians worldwide, of which over 4 million are outside the US. The addition of MGP will build on Medscape’s offerings of clinical news, health information, education and point-of-care tools to provide market-leading, multi-channel reach and engagement with doctors and other healthcare professionals across the UK.

Based in Chesham, UK, MGP’s content is designed to inform clinical decision-making and change clinical behaviour in line with best practice. The diverse offerings include Guidelines summaries, Guidelines in Practice expert articles and videos, the Guidelines Live conference and virtual events.

“Clinical guidelines are foundational to enhancing and improving patient care, and the addition of MGP further drives Medscape’s commitment to supporting UK doctors in clinical practice,” said Jeremy Schneider, Group General Manager, WebMD Global. “MGP and Medscape have the trust and the engagement of hundreds of thousands of UK healthcare professionals, driving clinical behaviour change. Through this transaction, we can leverage our combined strengths and scale to deliver robust, information-rich content to doctors and innovative solutions to customers.”

MGP will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Medscape as the companies build on and integrate products, platforms, and services.

USA, New York, NY & UK, Chesham, Buckinghamshire

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Daily Mail and General Trust plc sells EdTech business business Hobsons in two separate transactions

Daily Mail and General Trust plc is to sell Hobsons, its EdTech business, in two separate transactions, for total proceeds of approximately $410 million.

Hobsons’ Naviance and Intersect businesses are being sold to US-based PowerSchool, a provider of K-12 education technology solutions, for approximately US$320m, and are expected to be part of PowerSchool’s unified platform.

Hobsons’ Starfish business, after an internal restructuring where it will be spun-out from the rest of Hobsons, is being sold to EAB, a US-based education company, for approximately US$90m.

In FY 2020, Hobsons generated £6m adjusted operating profit from revenues of £85m.

Paul Zwillenberg, DMGT CEO, commented: “These two transactions mark another major milestone in DMGT’s transformation and are a clear demonstration of the benefits of our strategy. Hobsons was restructured in 2017 to focus on high-growth opportunities in Student Success. The combination of operational execution and organic investment drove a significant increase in capital value.

Consistent with our strategy, the divestitures will increase the focus of the DMGT portfolio, resulting in the Group operating in four sectors, compared to ten in 2016. The proceeds will strengthen DMGT’s existing net cash position, further enhancing DMGT’s significant financial flexibility.”

UK, London & USA, & USA, Folsom, CA & USA, Washington, DC

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424 Capital invests in Hospital Energy


Boston based investment firm 424 Capital has launched its first new fund in the 424 series, 424 Capital Fund I, which simultaneously completed the acquisition of Hospital Energy, anenergy management firm which develops and manages energy procurement strategies for US hospital systems.

Together with Eagle Private Capital, 424 Capital purchased a majority share from Founder and CEO Mark Mininberg, who will remain CEO of Hospital Energy. 

Founded in 1995, Hospital Energy’s energy procurement programs serve to lower a hospital’s spend on gas and electricity while reducing energy price volatility. Managing energy use and spend at over 200 hospitals, the Company focuses on all matters related to energy efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability and is the only energy procurement organization focused exclusively on the hospital market in all deregulated US markets. Hospital Energy also organizes and manages onsite renewable power generation which serve to decrease cost, increase their client’s resilience to power interruptions, and meet reduced carbon footprint standards set by state and local governments.

“I’m very pleased with our investment in Hospital Energy.  The Company’s focus on energy management and sustainability is 100% aligned with our core values and investment goals” said Walter Beinecke, Partner at 424 Capital, who will serve as Chairman of the Company.  “Mark Mininberg has built a very solid business with the best possible reputation, which will serve as a terrific platform as we seek to build leadership in the US energy management sector.”

“424 Capital has built strong industry knowledge in energy management and has a long history investing in the healthcare sector”, said CEO Mark Mininberg. “We are excited to partner with 424 Capital while continuing to provide the highest level of service to our client base.”

USA, Wakefield, MA & Elmhurst, IL

Allured Business Media acquires Creative Age

Allured Business Media has acquired publishing house Creative Age.

Creative Age was founded in 1971 by CEO Deborah Carver. Its brands include medical aesthetic brand MedEsthetics, professional nail brand NAILPRO, professional salon brand Beauty Launchpad and spa professional brand DAYSPA, along with its associated sub-brands and the NAILPRO events.

Allured Business Media already owns professional spa publication Skin Inc., fragrance and flavor formulation brand Perfumer & Flavorist, cosmetic business brand Global Cosmetic Industry and cosmetic science and technology brand Cosmetics & Toiletries.

Allured CEO George Fox noted, “We have a vested interest in all things beauty here at Allured, and this gives us the opportunity to build our breadth in beauty and personal care to include so many more touchpoints in professional spa and salon.”

Allured Business Media plans to utilize its digital and event expertise and the success of Creative Age to round out and expand the business. This will include a focus on content and engagement across all mediums to fully serve the business and educational needs of the salon and spa market.

Allure’s press release states that many Creative Age staff will remain after the transition, including editors, sales managers and CEO Deborah Carver. The terms of the deal were disclosed.

USA, Carol Stream, IL & Van Nuys, CA

CB Insights acquires VentureSource data from Dow Jones

CB Insights has acquired the data assets of VentureSource, a comprehensive portfolio relating to venture capital markets, from Dow Jones

The VentureSource database provides detailed and comprehensive data on venture-backed companies – including their investors and executives – in every region, industry, and stage of development throughout the world. This data helps customers find deal and partnership opportunities, perform comprehensive due diligence, and examine trends in venture capital investment, fundraising, and liquidity. 

The acquisition expands CB Insights’ private company data with data going back to 1983, including:

  • Private company valuations 
  • Management team information 
  • Data on deal service providers, including law firms and investment banks 

With the addition of the VentureSource database, CB Insights strengthens its position as a leader in emerging technology information and private market data.  

“Having the deepest and most complete data on emerging technology companies and technology markets is what our clients rely on CB Insights for, and the acquisition of the VentureSource database from Dow Jones furthers that mission,” said Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights. “Whether our clients are looking for technology vendors, partners, M&A targets and/or investments, they are now better equipped to discover and understand these companies and tech markets with the Dow Jones data we’ve acquired as a result of this transaction.”  

“CB Insights is well positioned to take VentureSource into its next chapter, in a way that provides even more value for customers,” said Chris Lloyd, head of Dow Jones’s Professional Information Business. “VentureSource’s high-quality data was developed through proprietary research and using content within Factiva — Dow Jones’s global database of more than 33,000 trusted news and information sources.”

CB Insights has also entered into a licensing arrangement with Dow Jones, which will see it provide a limited set of research reports and company data for Factiva. 

USA, New York. NY

Thomson Reuters acquires Pondera Solutions

Thomson Reuters has acquired Pondera Solutions, a provider of technology and advanced analytics to combat fraud, waste and abuse in healthcare and large government programs. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Thomson Reuters serves government agencies at the federal, state and local level with solutions and resources to improve efficiencies, diminish risk and reduce fraud. The acquisition of Pondera Solutions will enhance the offerings in the risk, fraud and compliance space and will allow Thomson Reuters to expand on its strategic approach to deliver insight through advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and human expertise.

“Thomson Reuters and Pondera share a commitment to serve customers with solutions that reduce fraud by individuals targeting government programs,” said Steve Rubley, president of the Government business for Thomson Reuters. “Pondera will be a key component to the suite of tools available to government customers that use technology, data and human analysis to support their mission and benefit their communities.”

“Government agencies offer and operate some of the largest programs in the world, and that fact alone makes them targets for illicit gains through fraud,” said Jon Coss, CEO and founder, Pondera Solutions. “We have taken the latest technology and advanced analytics to help our clients combat fraud and waste, and by joining Thomson Reuters, we will be able to offer even more to help customers with key insights to minimize risk and reduce fraud.”

Founded in 2011, Pondera Solutions is based in Sacramento and has an office in Florida.

USA, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN & USA, Sacramento, CA

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