Bonhill Group to acquire Last Word Media for up to £10M

BonhillB2B media business Bonhill Group is to acquire Last Word MediaBonhill will pay an initial consideration of £8.0 million, £6.0 million in cash and £2.0 million through a share issue. A deferred payment of £2 million will be made dependent on the financial performance of Last Word during the years ending 31 December 2019 and 31 December 2020.

Last WordLast Word is an international B2B media business addressing the sales and marketing needs of the global asset management industry and information requirements of the wealth management industry.

Launched in 2005, Last Word is owned by its three founders Rod Boulogne, Jamie Hinchliffe and Dylan Emery, and the co-founder of its Asian operation, Tom Porter. Last Word has 71 staff based in its London head office with another 8 staff in Hong Kong and 3 staff in Singapore.

The business creates content, sales and marketing opportunities, networking events and transactional opportunities for its clients and audiences with the key objective to assist asset managers with increasing assets under management.

Last Word currently operates seven investor facing brands. These include seven news and information websites, two of which have associated print titles and, in 2018, the brands collectively hosted 86 scheduled live events. Last Word also operates a further three brands targeting asset managers with event services, content marketing solutions and research data products.

Last Word has approximately 190 clients, including Aberdeen Standard Investments, Allianz Global Investors, BNY Mellon Investment Management, Hermes Investments, Invesco, Janus Henderson, Jupiter Investments, Merian Global Investors, Schroders and T. Rowe Price.

In the year ended 31 December 2018, Last Word generated revenue of approximately £10.2 million (2017: £9.2 million) and had EBITDA of approximately £1.1 million (2017: £0.3 million). As at 31 December 2018, Last Word had consolidated net assets of approximately £1.42 million (2017: £0.78 million).

In the year ended 31 December 2018, 71 per cent. of total revenues were generated in the UK, 16 per cent. in Asia, 8 per cent. in Europe and the balance in the rest of the world. Of total revenues generated in the year ended 31 December 2018, Live Events accounted for 59 per cent., Business Information accounted for 26 per cent. and Data & Insight and content marketing together for 15 per cent

Simon Stilwell, Chief Executive of Bonhill, commented:

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Last Word, a leading international B2B media business servicing the global asset management sector.  Bringing our two businesses together will enable Bonhill to provide a truly global sales and marketing proposition to the international asset management community and provides the opportunity to leverage InvestmentNews’ presence and platform to expand its existing propositions in the US. These are exciting times for the Company and we look forward to the period ahead.”

UK, London

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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Easyfairs acquires German mechanical engineering events FMB from Clarion

easyfairsExhibition organiser Easyfairs has strengthened its trade show portfolio by acquiring two events from Clarion Events: FMB and FMB-Sud (Forum Maschinenbau) in Germany. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ClarionFMB and FMB-Sud are supplier events serving the mechanical engineering community. Launched in 2005, FMB is held annually in November in Bad Salzuflen, North Rhine-Westphalia and the recently launched FMB-Sud is hosted in Augsburg, Bavaria. Located within two engineering heartlands, the events bring together key players and innovators within the value network of the Machinery & Equipment industry. In 2018, FMB and FMB-Sud attracted around 750 exhibitors and 7,000 visitors.

The two exhibitions will sit within the Easyfairs DACH portfolio. Roland Brand, Head of Easyfairs Switzerland and Germany, said: “FMB and FMB-Sud, which opens its doors on 20 & 21 February at the Augsburg Messe, are a perfect match to our existing portfolio of industrial trade shows: Solids, Maintenance, Pumps & Valves, Empack and Logistics. We will utilise the evident synergies between our present shows and FMB in order to create more value for the industrial communities we serve. As an international and fast-growing company, we have ambitious plans to further develop and expand our portfolio in Germany and Switzerland.”

Belgium, Brussels & UK, London & Germany, Bad Salzuflen, North Rhine-Westphalia & Germany, Augsburg, Bavaria

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Clarion Events

ClearCourse Partnership acquires Circdata

clearcoursAquiline Capital Partners backed ClearCourse Partnership, a group of technology companies providing membership software and services, has acquired Circdata, a provider of event technology. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Newbury. The company employs around 55 people across its head office in the UK and R&D team in Poland. Circdata was originally a data management company and has since developed into an event technology business, providing software solutions to many of the world’s largest exhibition and conference organisers. Its proprietary software platform, Fusion, offers a suite of services that aide exhibitor management, visitor registration, ticket sales and subscriptions.

Following the acquisition, the company will be led by Chris Clipston, in his new role as Managing Director of Circdata, and the existing management team. James Ormiston, Circdata’s founder, will move to an advisory and consulting role.

Since its foundation in 2018, ClearCourse has acquired four other UK-based software and service providers: MillerTech, Silverbear, Clear Direct Debit and APT Solutions. Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, says: “We are delighted to announce the addition of Circdata to the Partnership. Our mission is to foster talent and innovation in the membership software space, supporting the growth and development of dynamic tech companies through the provision of both capital and operational resource. Circdata’s addition to the group will create several operational and market synergies with our existing companies.

UK, London & Newbury, Berkshire

 

Terrapinn acquires Accounting Business Expo and Accountech Live

TerrapinnGlobal events company Terrapinn the global events company has acquired Accounting Business Expo and Accountech Live, the two market leading exhibitions in Australia in the Accountancy and Finance Management field. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Accounting Business Expo and Accountech Live were acquired from National Media, a leading Australian exhibitions organiser. Accounting Business Expo is an independent and vendor neutral showcase for tools, technologies and services for accounting professionals, while Accountech Live is a comprehensive showcase of tech innovation in cloud accounting and the rapidly growing add-on ecosystem.

Terrapinn’s CEO, Greg Hitchen, said, “Accounting Business Expo and Accountech.Live are world-class events in terms of scale and quality of content and bolster our global portfolio of accounting and finance expos. Terrapinn is already a world leader in this sector, with expos in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Johannesburg.”

UK, London & Australia, Bundall, QLD

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Incisive Media acquires The Financial Services Forum

Incisive MediaIncisive Media has acquired The Financial Services Forum Limited, the membership community for marketing professionals across the financial services industry. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The FSF is a membership organisation for marketers working at all levels of seniority across the sector. Members are supported with more than 60 strategic financial services marketing events every year, covering all sectors and marketing disciplines, an online knowledge centre, a broad range of email newsletters, awards ceremonies and summits. The Forum includes members from more than 150 banks, insurers, asset and wealth managers, mortgage lenders and fintech businesses.

Founded in 1998 by Anthony Thomson, financial services marketing veteran and founding chairman of Atom Bank and Metro Bank, the forum has grown steadily under the management of David Cowan (managing director) and Richard Nolan (operations director) to become the pre-eminent membership organisation for marketers in the UK financial services sector.

The acquisition will support the management of the Forum as they continue to grow the scope of services for members as well as broaden the membership base within the sector by accessing a larger, well-resourced event management and digital infrastructure and expert editorially-led thought leadership.

Jonathon Whiteley, CEO of Incisive Media, said, “As a leading financial media business and practitioner member of the Forum, we have long admired the work of the FSF for creating a platform for knowledge sharing, networking and thought leadership. We look forward to working closely with David and his team to support the growth of the Forum for the benefit of members”.

UK, London

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