Exponent acquires Dennis Publishing

Exponent PEExponent is to acquire Dennis Publishing, a multi-platform international media group which owns several award-winning brands including its flagship title, The Week.

Initial reports from Sky News suggested Exponent could pay between £150m and £200m, with The Week alone valued at around £100m, although the final amount was unconfirmed.

Dennis is a leading consumer media and e-commerce organisation, based in London and New York. Its portfolio consists of over 30 brands across four main areas of focus: Current Affairs, Technology, Automotive and Special Interest. In addition to The Week, it is home to several well-known brands including MoneyWeek, The Week Junior, BuyACar.co.uk, Auto Express, CarBuyer, Computer Active, Alphr.com, Cyclist and Viz, among others. Across all its brands it reaches over 50 million readers and sells over 2.5 million magazines every month.

Dennis is the first investment to be made from Exponent’s fourth fund, Exponent Private Equity Partners IV, LP.

Commenting on the acquisition, David McGovern of Exponent, said, “Dennis is a unique, innovative and dynamic publishing and e-commerce business. We believe that there is a significant opportunity to grow both its print and digital platforms, which will allow it to reach and engage even more readers and customers. Exponent is delighted to back James Tye and his team. We look forward to combining their expert knowledge with our own deep experience in consumer media and e-commerce to help further develop Dennis’ strong market positions and build on Felix Dennis’ legacy.”

Dick Pountain, on behalf of the Executors of the Felix Dennis estate, said, “The Executors of Felix Dennis’ estate are delighted to agree the sale of Dennis Publishing to Exponent. We see Exponent as excellent partners for Dennis; their track record in media is extremely strong and we have confidence in their ability to continue to grow the size and reputation of the company that Felix created almost 50 years ago.

The proceeds of this sale go to the Heart of England Forest (HoEF), a charity which Felix established during his lifetime. This endowment will enable the charity to create Felix’s ambitious vision – planting and maintaining the largest contiguous, broadleaf woodland for public enjoyment that the UK has seen in a century. The sale ensures not just a bright future for all involved but will create a lasting and important legacy for future generations.”

UK, London

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Future to acquire Purch’s consumer division for $132.5M

Future plcGlobal specialist media platform Future plc is to acquire the consumer division of Purch, the next generation digital publishing and marketplace platform, operating in the consumer technology and science verticals. The deal will see Future acquire Purch’s publisher services division (ad sales) along with the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) group in a deal worth over $132 million.

The acquisition will give Future a leading position in consumer technology publishing in the U.S. Purch has successfully grown its digitally-led business and generates more than $1 billion annually in facilitated commerce through its tech, shopping, lifestyle and SMB brands, including Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware, Top Ten Reviews, ShopSavvy and Business.com.

Future CEO Zillah Byng-Thorne said, “Future’s mission to be a technology-enabled global platform for specialist media takes another big step forward today with this announcement. I’ve been impressed by the strength of Purch’s technology platforms and the expertise of its people. Together we can build a combined organization that has scale and growth opportunities ahead. The two businesses share similar cultures – we both share our audiences’ passion, we’re data-driven, ambitious and both have an innovative mindset. From day one Future will be number one in the U.S. consumer technology sector, and beyond this we see clear opportunities for combined growth.”

UK, London & US, San Francisco, CA

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Anthem Publishing acquires Women’s Running magazine

AnthemAnthem Publishing has acquired the multi-award-winning Women’s Running magazine from Wild Bunch Media. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Women’s Running launched in 2010, and was named Consumer Magazine of the Year 2011 and Consumer Media Brand of the Year 2015 at the PPA Independent Publisher Awards, as well as winning four other industry awards. It’s the UK’s only running title dedicated to helping women enjoy and improve their running. The deal includes the Women’s Running website which has over 90,000 unique users per month, as well as the Facebook community of some 220,000 followers. The purchase does not affect Men’s Running, which remains a Wild Bunch Media brand.

Anthem CEO Jon Bickley said, “We’re delighted to bring Women’s Running on board at Anthem to join our emerging group of women’s wellness brands. Women’s Running is a title I’ve admired for many years for its powerfully strong editorial proposition and the unique relationship it enjoys with its readers and advertisers. We can’t wait to immerse ourselves in this market and bring the same levels of investment and focus to it that have proved successful with our own titles such as Vegan Food & Living and Colouring Heaven.”

UK, Bath & London

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Media 10 acquires Pro Publishing Media & Events

Media 10Media 10 has acquired Pro Publishing Media & Events Ltd, originally founded by Clara Perry in 2007. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition will bolsters Media 10’s offering within the kitchen and bathroom sector. Brands include luxury consumer magazine Utopia Kitchen & Bathroom, trade magazine Designer Kitchen & Bathroom, and the Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards event. Digital brands kb-eye.com and kb-network.co.uk also form part of the portfolio, as well as The d List, the Designer Guides and the Utopia Supplements.

All brands will continue to be headed up and managed by Perry under a directorship role of the newly formed kitchen and bathroom division at Media 10 Ltd.

Media 10 CEO Lee Newton said, “With over a million people visiting our events each year from both the trade and consumer markets, we are delighted to be able to join forces with Clara and her excellent team; this partnership puts us in a unprecedented position where all products can take advantage of each other’s strengths to continue to build strong brands across all media platforms within the kitchen and bathroom industry.”

UK, Loughton & Colchester

I-5 Publishing acquires special interest media brands from BowTie Inc

i-5Publishing-52x60I-5 Publishing LLC, a newly-formed joint venture of publishing industry executives David Fry and Mark Harris, has acquired the books, magazines and websites of BowTie Inc., the publisher of special-interest brands such as Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy.

The acquisition, effective February 1, 2013, includes consumer magazines like Horse Illustrated and Urban Farm, trade magazines like Pet Product News International, websites including AnimalNetwork.com and DogChannel.com, and books including Dog Heroes of September 11th and The Original Dog Bible.

“We are thrilled to bring these storied brands under our umbrella,” said Harris, who has been appointed interim CEO of I-5 Publishing. “Combining the talented, passionate teams that have built such a robust content engine with the technology and expertise of our existing joint ventures creates the perfect platform on which to create an infinite variety of special-interest content for delivery in all formats.”

I-5 Publishing is the latest in a series of partnerships between Fry and Harris and their respective companies. Harris is the co-founder and co-owner of National Publisher Services. Fry is the chairman of NPI Ventures, LLC, which owns 50-percent of NPS, and the Chief Technology Officer of Fry Communications.

Harris and Ambrose will be joined on the executive team by former BowTie executives Nicole Fabian, Chief Financial Officer, June Kikuchi, Chief Content Officer and Dolores Whitlo, VP of Consumer Marketing.

USA, Irvine, CA