Future plc acquires SmartBrief for USD 45M

Future plc logoFuture plc has acquired SmartBrief Inc., a US-based digital media publisher of targeted business news and information for USD 45 million. The initial amount will include a cash consideration of USD 32.2 million funded from the Group’s existing debt facilities, with a further USD 12.8 million to be satisfied through the issue to the vendors of 1,027,492 new ordinary shares. The agreement also includes a deferred consideration based on certain financial targets achieved over the year ending 31 July 2020, which is subject to a cap of USD 20 million.

Leveraging proprietary technology and editorial expertise, SmartBrief delivers relevant industry news in partnership with trade associations, professional societies and corporations. SmartBrief owns a database of over 5.8 million subscribers made up of senior executives, thought leaders and industry professionals.

Founded in 1999 and based in Washington DC, SmartBrief creates and distributes more than 250 digital newsletters, allowing advertisers to target and engage with decision-makers and influencers across multiple sectors including food and travel, business, education, finance, health care, retail, tech, marketing and advertising. During 2018 Future extended its successful consumer strategy into B2B through the acquisition of NewBay Media in the US, which enabled Future to access the B2B market with several market-leading titles.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “The acquisition of SmartBrief will substantially boost our presence and market position in the B2B sector and enhance our technology capabilities.”

“SmartBrief is a leading, respected provider of sector-focused newsletters and daily email briefings covering a range of key verticals. The addition of SmartBrief’s must-read information products to our portfolio will further extend the reach of our B2B operations. The acquisition will be earnings enhancing, and we have identified several exciting opportunities to leverage SmartBrief’s proprietary technology in both our B2C and B2B business.”

UK, London & USA, Washington DC, WA

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DVV to acquire RBI aviation conferences

DVV Media InternationalDVV Media International is to acquire the publishing activities and conferences in the aviation sector from Reed Business Information, part of the Cirium risk and business analytics market segment of RELX. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

The portfolio includes the magazine brands Flight International and Airline Business, the daily news, views, analysis and other publishing activities at international air shows, including Flight Daily News and Flight Evening News, a portfolio of aviation conferences and awards, including The Airline Strategy Awards, other publishing activities such as FlightJobs, and the websites supporting these publishing activities.

Cirium enables customers to provide the finance for fleets, build and maintain aircraft, efficiently transport passengers and improve traveller experience, and its focus is to drive targeted, profitable and informed decisions. Cirium will continue as part of R&BA, reflecting its strategic priority of focusing on data and analytics.

DVV is owned by German newspaper publisher Rheinische Post and has acquired a number of businesses previously owned by RBI, such as Personnel Today, Railway Gazette International, Commercial Motor and Motor Transport. The portfolio will join DVV’s complementary Air Cargo News brand to substantially increase DVV’s offering to the aviation sector.

Andy Salter, Managing Director of DVV, said, “This is a significant step forward for our organisation. The new portfolio means we now have a comprehensive offering across all modes of the transport and logistics business information sector. We are all looking forward to working with the new team to build on the legacy of these products and develop a thriving market offering.”

UK, Sutton & London

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Centaur Media Plc agrees sale of travel and meetings exhibitions to Northstar

centaur-logoCentaur, the international provider of business information and specialist consultancy, has entered into a conditional agreement to sell Centaur Media Travel and Meetings Limited, the owner of the Business Travel Show and The Meetings Show, to Northstar Travel Media UK Limited, a leading B2B information and marketing solutions company focused on the global travel and meetings industries. Completion of the disposal is expected to take place on 30 April 2019.

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. Centaur announced on 1 April 2019 that it has raised £5m from the sale of its financial services business, which includes brands such as Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy.

Northstar will pay a cash consideration of £9.25m (subject to customary post-completion adjustments) for CTM, which formed part of the Group’s professional services division. Centaur will consider the best use for the sale proceeds following the completion of its divestment review.

Centaur’s professional services division comprises The Lawyer and a portfolio of market leading event brands across three sectors: travel and meetings, human resources and engineering.

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive of Centaur, said, “[This] is another important milestone in Centaur’s ongoing transformation. As we focus on building more robust and stronger recurring revenues, we are reducing Group complexity and overheads that will allow us to deliver efficiencies and improve our operating margins.”

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Centaur’s travel and meetings exhibitions made normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation operating profit of £1.7m (before central overhead allocations), up from £1.6m in 2017, on revenues of £6.4m (2017: £6.1m). At 31 December 2018, the business had gross assets of £1.7m.

UK, London & USA, Secaucus, NJ

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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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Informa sells Life Sciences Media Brands portfolio for over $100M

InformaExhibitions, events, business intelligence and publishing group Informa has sold its life sciences media brands portfolio to US-based healthcare education, market research and medical comms business, MJH Associates, for just over $100 million.

MJH Associates

The life sciences media brands portfolio was part of UBM which Informa bought for £3.9 billion last year. The transaction does not include the CBI events business, which had been combined with the branded life sciences business within the knowledge & networking division of Informa.

UK, London & USA, Cranbury Township, NJ

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Infopro Digital to acquire B2B publisher DOCUgroup

InfoPro DigitalInfopro Digital group is to enter into the acquisition of DOCUgroup, taking a major step in its international expansion. The acquisition will be financed with additional indebtedness, available cash on hand at the group level and an equity contribution from the shareholders of Infopro Digital group. The majority shareholder of Infopro Digital, alongside management of the group, is TowerBrook. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DOCUgroup is a leader in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in business information for the construction, architecture and real estate industries.

DOCUgroup has two main activities: Project Information, whose flagship brand is IBAU, an online subscription platform that references almost 1 million private and public real estate projects; and Product Information, with leading brands such as Heinze and Baunetz, which are digital platforms that enable architects and planners to access databases and detailed information for over 500,000 products. These platforms attract around 15 million online visits each year.

Infopro Digital also offers services to professionals in the building industry in France, Belgium and the Netherlands through Le Moniteur and Vecteur Plus.

Over 500 employees will join the Infopro Digital group, to bring the total to more than 3,200 people worldwide. DOCUgroup generates a turnover of 67 million EUR, which will allow Infopro Digital to reach a turnover of approximately 440 million EUR once the acquisition is completed.

Christophe Czajka, Executive Chairman of Infopro Digital, said,“With the acquisition of DOCUgroup, we become a truly European BtB and Data company. The share of our turnover generated outside of France increased from 14% to 35% in less than a year. Over 1,300 group employees will be based in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the United States, Hong Kong, and Tunisia.”

Julien Elmaleh, CEO of Infopro Digital, added, “The DOCUgroup DNA fits perfectly with that of Infopro Digital: databases and digital platforms allowing professionals to develop their commercial activity and have detailed and high quality business information. Combined, we will have an unmatched offer for professionals in the building industry”.

France, Ile-de-France & Germany, Munich

Incisive Media acquires Open Door Media

Incisive MediaInvestment Week’s parent Incisive Media has acquired Open Door Media Publishing Limited, publisher of Investment Europe and producer of market-leading conferences for fund selectors across Europe.

ODMP is an award-winning financial services media company that brings fund selectors and asset management companies together through its publications, digital products, and extensive portfolio of over twenty conferences across Europe. The company also publishes International Investment for the global adviser community and produces the International Fund and Product Awards, now in their nineteenth year.

Founded in 2013 by Nick Rapley (chairman) and Louise Hanna (director) through a management buyout of the Investment Europe brand from Incisive Media, ODMP has grown rapidly in five years to become a pre-eminent provider of business information and networking to the European asset management industry.

Jonathon Whiteley, CEO of Incisive Media, said, “We have known and worked with Nick, Louise and their team for many years and are excited that we are able to bring Investment Europe and International Investment back into the Incisive Media fold. This acquisition strengthens our asset management publishing and event properties and adds real depth and quality to our growing portfolio for the benefit of our readers, delegates and asset management clients.

UK, London

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