Vitesse Media to buy InvestmentNews for $27.1M

Vitesse Media plcDigital media and events company Vitesse Media is to acquire InvestmentNews, a leading source of news, analysis and information to the financial advisory community from its parent, Crain Communications Inc., for approximately $27.1 million. The deal is expected to close mid-August.

As part of the deal, InvestmentNews’ leadership team will remain intact — as will its award-winning editorial, multimedia, audience, custom, research & data, marketing, sales and event divisions.

Crain launched InvestmentNews in 1997 as a weekly magazine covering the U.S. financial advice profession. InvestmentNews has since expanded its engagement with its core audience through the launch of an award-winning website, live events and research and data offerings. Today, InvestmentNews is the No. 1 media brand in the financial advice market, with more than 150,000 weekly print readers. InvestmentNews.com garners an average of 545,000 unique visitors each month. In addition, InvestmentNews operates a growing events business, which includes the Retirement Income Summit, Woman Adviser Summit and Best Practices Workshop. It is also produces editorial and custom research relevant to advisers and the businesses that serve them.

Simon Stilwell, who was appointed CEO of Vitesse in August 2017, said, “InvestmentNews is the leading brand in its community, it fits well into the Vitesse stable and provides the company with the opportunity to pursue other bolt on opportunities to expand, especially in its events and data business. Its American presence further allows us to expand our reach geographically, a key aspect of our future strategy.”

Upon completion of the deal, Vitesse will change its name to Bonhill Group plc, subject to shareholders’ approval.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

Related articles:

Mark Allen Group to acquire Rhinehold Group Assets

Mark Allen GroupThe Mark Allen Group has won the bid to acquire all the assets in the Rhinegold Group. These assets include the International Piano, Choir & Organ, Classical Music, Teaching Drama, and Music Teacher publications. Rhinegold also publishes Opera Now. Through its events arm it owns and organises Music & Drama Education Expos in London and Manchester. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Rhinegold assets will add significantly to MAG’s strong position in music publishing, whose current portfolio includes the world’s leading classical music brand, Gramophone, as well as the premier magazines in their respective fields, Jazzwise and Songlines.

The parties are now entering into due diligence with the aim to complete the sale in October, after which the Rhinegold staff will be relocated from central London to MAG’s offices at St Jude’s Church in Herne Hill.

The origins of Rhinegold go back to 1977 with the launch of what is now Classical Music and the acquisition of Music Teacher. Since then the company has grown by acquisition and launch. Five years ago the first Music Education Expo was launched in London.

Mark Allen, the chairman of MAG, said, “I have been stalking Rhinegold for the past three years and I am delighted to say that my hope in acquiring these excellent assets looks like being realised. During this time, I have got to know, like and respect the current owner, Derek Smith, as well as several of the staff. There is a great deal of synergy with our own brands.”

Chief executive officer, Ben Allen added, “It is less than six years ago that we decided to enter the music market with our purchase of Jazzwise. This is a market in which we have done well and Rhinegold provides a golden opportunity for us to extend and enhance our dominant position. With increased leisure time likely to be a factor, music will loom even larger in people’s lives and we intend to be at the forefront of these trends.”

UK, London

Related articles:

Nine Entertainment to take over Fairfax media in estimated A$4BN deal

Nine EntertainmentAustralia’s Nine Entertainment is to take over Fairfax Media, for an estimated A$4 billion. The television network will take a controlling 51.1% stake in the newly merged company, which will be renamed NEC, or Nine Entertainment Company. Nine will acquire all of Fairfax’s shares and take a controlling 51.1% share in the new business, which will be called NEC. Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Fairfax shareholders will receive 0.3627 Nine shares for each Fairfax share held and $0.025 cash. It represents a 21.9% premium to Fairfax’s closing share price of 77c on 25 July 2018.

Hugh Marks of Nine will be the new chief executive and Peter Costello, the Nine chairman, will now lead the board of the new business.

Costello said, “Both Nine and Fairfax have played an important role in shaping the Australian media landscape over many years. The combination of our businesses and our people best positions us to deliver new opportunities and innovations for our shareholders, staff, and all Australians in the years ahead.”

Marks added, “The ground-breaking merger – harnessing the strength, assets, quality and reach of two of the country’s most famous industry brands – is another highly significant step in the evolution of Nine’s business into one of the most powerful media organisations in the country. The scope of this deal is genuinely quite breathtaking. In addition to our existing television and digital businesses, the new NEC will also become the proprietor of the iconic Fairfax mastheads as well as the new majority owner of Domain (60%) and the Macquarie Radio Network (54.5%)“.

Fairfax Chief Executive Officer Greg Hywood said, “The proposed transaction for Fairfax reflects the success of Fairfax’s transformation strategy which has created value for shareholders through targeted investment in high growth businesses, such as Domain and Stan, and prudent management of our media assets. The combination with Nine provides an exciting opportunity to continue to drive incremental value well into the future. We are confident that the strength of the combined management team and staff will ensure the continuation of our quality journalism.”

Australia, Sydney

Related articles:

UBM acquires 75% stake in ECMI ITE Asia for £2.8M

UBMUBMMG Holdings, a subsidiary of UBM, which recently became part of the Informa Group, has acquired ITE Group’s 75 per cent stake in Malaysia-based ECMI ITE Asia for a cash consideration of MYR 15m (approx. £2.8 million). The sale forms part of ITE’s Transformation and Growth (TAG) strategy.

ECMI runs the Cosmobeauté series of beauty trade exhibitions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, and the biennial Lab series of Scientific Instrument and Laboratory Equipment trade exhibitions in Malaysia and Indonesia.

ITE acquired a 50 per cent stake in ECMI in 2013. Under the terms of an existing arrangement with ECMI’s founder shareholders CP Saw and WP Cheong, the organiser acquired an additional 25 per cent stake in ECMI on 18 June 2018, taking its total shareholding to 75 per cent. With the acquisition by UBM, ITE has disposed of its entire 75 per cent holding in ECMI. The proceeds will be reinvested into the Group.

In the year to 30 September 2017 (which excludes the biennial Lab exhibitions), ECMI had gross assets of MYR 13.2 million (£2.5 million), reported a turnover of MYR 9.8 million (£1.8 million) and a loss before tax of MYR 0.4 million (£0.07 million). In ITE’s consolidated financial statements for the same period, ITE recognised a loss of MYR 0.13 million (£0.03 million) in respect of ECMI, presented within ‘share of results of associates and joint ventures’.

Mark Shashoua, CEO of ITE Group, said, “A key element of our TAG Programme is managing our portfolio of events, and this transaction marks a further step in delivering this strategy. We are pleased to have found a supportive Malaysia-based partner for ECMI’s events which can ensure the investment required for ECMI’s continued success.”

UK, London & Malaysia, Selangor

Related articles:

Enthusiast Gaming Media acquires The Escapist Magazine

Enthusiast GamingEnthusiast Gaming Media Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enthusiast Gaming Inc. has acquired The Escapist Magazine from Defy Media. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2005, Escapist is a leading online magazine focused on in-depth coverage of the video game industry in addition to movies, comics, TV, and more. Averaging over 6 million monthly visits since 2008, the acquisition significantly grows Enthusiast Gaming’s network and follows the successful acquisition of Destructoid.com in 2017, enhancing the company’s growth strategy as the fastest growing community of online gamers.

Former Editor-in-Chief of Escapist Russ Pitts will be returning to the position after leaving in 2011 to help Vox Media launch Polygon. Mr Pitts spent 5 years building and growing the online magazine and has an impressive track record with Escapist including: six Webby Awards, two Streamy nominations, a G.A.N.G. Award nomination, two dozen video series, over 1,000 written articles and a Time Magazine “50 Best Websites” mention.

Menashe Kestenbaum, Founder & CEO of Enthusiast Gaming, said, “The acquisition of Escapist is instrumental as we continue to grow our network of gamers. Escapist represents long form and intellectual content generation and will be another flagship platform in our network. Russ is a true visionary in online gaming journalism and we are thrilled to bring him back to lead Escapist.”

Canada, Toronto & USA, Durham, NC

Kew Media completes acquisition of Essential Media Group

Kew Media GroupProduction and distribution firm Kew Media Group has completed the previously reported acquisition of the Essential Media Group.

The Essential Media Group is the newly formed international content company from the merger of two leading independent production companies and joint venture partners – Essential Media and Entertainment and Quail Entertainment. Headed by CEO and Executive Producer Chris Hilton and CCO and Executive Producer Greg Quail, EMG combines strong credentials and track records in both scripted and unscripted content.

Steven Silver, Kew Founder and CEO, said, “The addition of Essential to the Kew platform is another step forward in our growth strategy. It expands Kew’s US offering and gives us a first presence in Australia. We anticipate strong revenue synergies coming from Essential’s inclusion for 2019.

Canada, Toronto & USA, Los Angeles, CA

Related articles:

QD Events acquires Scottish Fitness and Nutrition Expo

QD EventsScottish event organiser QD Events has acquired the independently run Scottish Fitness and Nutrition Expo, which has experienced significant growth since it was founded by friends Neil Maclean and Jamie Rose in 2014. QD Events, which acquired 25 per cent of SFN Expo in 2016, bid for the remaining 75 per cent after the show’s record attendance last year. Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The next edition of SFN Expo will run from 6th-7th October 2018 at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow and has already hit record stand and ticket sales. The show will see the return of the World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, and huge industry brands such as Les Mills creating interactive fitness experiences for visitors. SFN 2018 will also host the finals of The Scottish Throwdown and Scotland’s Strongest Man.

The show adds to QD Events’ repertoire which already includes Scotland’s largest exhibition, The Scottish Caravan, Holiday Home and Motorhome Show, IRN-BRU Carnival, Scottish Wedding Show, Independent Living Scotland and Resonate Festival of Gaming.

Greg Cherry, managing director of QD Events, said: “We are delighted to add SFN Expo to the QD Events portfolio. We have worked closely with SFN’s organisers over the past few years to help it reach its true potential, scale and accessibility to the mainstream fitness market.”

UK, Glasgow