Wasserstein & Co. to by back ALM Media from Apax at a discount

ALM2Private equity and investment firm Wasserstein & Co has announced that it is buying back ALM Media, the publisher of American Lawyer and other titles, from its current owners, Apax Partners and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Ontario Pension Board, Pantheon, the Honeywell pension, and HighVista Strategies LLC are co-investing in the transaction alongside Wasserstein.

incisive_logo_newAccording to the New York Times, terms aren’t expected to be disclosed, but a person briefed on the matter said the price was about $417 million. In the summer of 2007, Wasserstein & Company sold ALM Media to Apax’s Incisive Media, the London-based trade magazine publisher, at the top of the market for $630 million.

Headquartered in New York City, ALM is an integrated media company and a provider of specialised business news, research and information, focused primarily on the legal and commercial real estate sectors. The company was created by the late Bruce Wasserstein. Later Wasserstein & Company was created as the investment vehicle of Bruce Wasserstein. ALM has nearly 700 employees across 16 offices worldwide. ALM’s portfolio of over 350 print and digital publications include The New York Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, Law.com, and The National Law Journal.

Michael Struble, Managing Director of Wasserstein & Co., added, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to own ALM again and look forward to working with ALM’s experienced management team to strengthen and unify its media brands and expand into value-added digital subscription products and services.”

Financing for the transaction will be provided by Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. Jones Day served as legal advisor to Wasserstein & Co. Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisor to the Company, the Apax Funds, and RBS. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to the Company and the Apax Funds. DLA Piper LLP (US) served as legal advisor to RBS.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

USA, New York, NY & UK, London

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Guardian to sell its stake in Auto Trader for upto £700M

AutotraderGuardian Media Group is selling its 50.1% stake in Auto Trader owner Trader Media Group to private equity firm Apax Partners in a deal thought to be worth £600m to £700m to the Guardian publisher.

The sale to Apax, which bought 49.9% of Trader Media Group in 2007 and has been GMG’s joint venture partner in the business since then, is thought to give TMG an enterprise value of about £1.8bn. The exact financial details of the deal were not revealed.

GMG’s sale of the TMG stake is subject to reguatory approval and final completion.

Andrew Miller, the chief executive of GMG, said: “This proposed transaction makes strategic sense as we focus GMG’s activities on award-winning digital and print journalism. On completion, the sale proceeds will strengthen our balance sheet and position us for further investment and growth in our core business.”

Neil Berkett, the chair of the GMG board, said: “Once completed, this deal will make GMG a very well-capitalised media organisation with the financial flexibility to navigate the rapidly-changing media environment, where our flagship titles are proven pioneers of digital and print innovation.”

The Scott Trust, sole shareholder in GMG, has given its approval for the proposed sale and authorised the company board to reinvest the proceeds to enable it to continue to safeguard the Guardian’s editorial and financial independence.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised GMG on the deal.

UK, London

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GMG rejects improved Apax offer

tradermediagroupThe FT is reporting that Guardian Media Group has rejected an improved offer by Apax to purchase GMG’s 50.1% stake in Trader Media. The new offer valued Trader Media at about £1.5bn, including net debt of about £560m. Apax’s previous offer valued the business at £1.2 billion. An IPO now seems the most likely outcome.

UK, London

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Guardian News & Media sell paidContent to GigaOM

Guardian News & Media has sold the assets of ContentNext Media, to business and technology media company GigaOM. The deal includes all the properties of ContentNext Media including paidContent.org, mocoNews, contentSutra and paidContent:UK. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Under the terms of the acquisition, GNM will take a minority shareholding in GigaOM. GigaOM has an online audience of more than 4.5 million monthly unique visitors. It also runs events and a market research service and digital community providing expert analysis and research on emerging technology markets. GNM is joining existing investors such as Reed Elsevier Ventures, Alloy Ventures and True Ventures.

Andrew Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Guardian Media Group (parent company of Guardian News & Media), said: “paidContent has a fantastic presence in the tech/media space and the match with GigaOM, itself a really smart and pioneering company, is a good one. We are delighted to become shareholders in GigaOM as part of the deal.

“The Guardian’s focus in the US is on building guardiannews.com, but we look forward to seeing paidContent thrive and grow in its new home and wish its staff all the very best for the future.”

Staci Kramer will remain the editor of paidContent.

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