Vox Media acquires Epic Magazine and Epic Digital

Vox MediaVox Media has acquired Epic, which includes Epic Magazine, the nonfiction publisher, and its sister company Epic Digital. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Epic, which has over 40 film and TV projects currently in development and has a first-look deal with 21st Century Fox, will remain an independent division within Vox Media Studios.

Epic was founded six years ago by journalists Josh Davis and Joshuah Bearman in an effort to publish “true stories that get noticed,” according to the company. Epic works with Fortune 500 companies like Google and IBM to provide brand insights and their first television show, Little America, is forthcoming on the new Apple streaming service later this year.

Marty Moe, President of Vox Media Studios, said, “In Epic, I see not only a company known for sophisticated, character-driven work, but also a group of innovators who, like Vox Media, set out to build a new business model to sustain great storytelling — for the benefit of both consumers and brands. With the distribution power and infrastructure that Vox Media has honed over the past decade, Epic’s important work will entertain and inform more fans than ever before.”

Current projects include “Little America,” the anthology series coming to Apple’s streaming service; a film about the Silk Road drug empire scripted by the Coen brothers; the forthcoming feature film “King of the Jungle,” starring Seth Rogen and Michael Keaton, based on the Wired article by Davis; and a film that will center on John DeLorean, with George Clooney set to direct.

USA, Washington DC, WA & Los Angela, CA

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Centaur Media Plc sells financial services division to Metropolis

centaur-logoCentaur Media has sold its financial services division to Metropolis Group for £5 million.

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.

Metropolis has paid £5 million in cash for the division sold. Centaur will consider the best use for the proceeds following the completion of its divestment review.

Centaur’s financial services division comprises a portfolio of leading multi-channel publishing and content brands, including Money Marketing, Mortgage Strategy, Platforum, Taxbriefs and Headline Money. These brands generate advertising and other revenue by serving a range of audience segments within the financial services industry, including financial advisers, mortgage brokers, accountants and asset managers.

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive of Centaur, said, “This disposal continues the simplification of Centaur, further reducing our advertising exposure and allowing us to focus on developing products and services with stronger recurring revenues. A simpler group structure will allow us to deliver efficiencies and other operational benefits.

“Our financial services portfolio which includes Money Marketing has played a key role in the development of Centaur over the years, and I want to thank the teams for all their hard work. I am pleased that Metropolis sees the potential to develop the business further.”

Robert Marr, Chief Executive of Metropolis Group, added, “The acquisition continues the development of Metropolis and aligns with our vision of delivering sustainable profitable futures for well-managed media brands. We look forward to working together with the financial services team to further develop these long-standing market-leading brands.”

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Centaur’s financial services business made an adjusted operating profit of £1.2m, up from £0.6m in 2017, on revenues of £8.2m (2017: £8.9m). At 31 December 2018, the business had gross assets of £2.3m.

UK, London

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Acuris acquires Blackpeak

AcurisAcuris, a BC Partners and GIC-backed provider of financial data, intelligence, research and analysis, has acquired Blackpeak, an investigative research firm. Blackpeak will join Acuris’ Compliance division. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Co-founded by Jack Clode and Chris Leahy in 2011, Blackpeak is a premier provider of complex due diligence, research and investigation services, particularly in relation to capital markets, M&A and private equity.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Blackpeak now operates from key financial and economic centers, including Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, New York and Washington DC.

Hamilton Matthews

Hamilton Matthews CEO, Acuris

“We are delighted to welcome Jack, Chris and the Blackpeak team to the growing Acuris family. With its expert capabilities as a premium Enhanced Due Diligence services provider and impressive customer portfolio of global blue-chip customers, Blackpeak will enhance our Compliance division’s proposition considerably,” says Hamilton Matthews, CEO of Acuris. “We look forward to working together to support Blackpeak’s growth ambitions and meet the evolving demands of our customers.”

UK, London & Hong Kong

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