Canal+ acquires Nollywood film studio ROK

Canal+CANAL+ Group has acquired ROK, the leading African film studio and international TV network, in a deal comprising production, content distribution and publishing channels. As part of the transaction, IROKO Ltd will also take full control of the JV IROKO+, the leading subscription video on demand (SVOD) platform in French-speaking Africa. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The move comes as CANAL+ Group looks to strengthen its content production reach in Nigeria and across Africa. As part of the acquisition, ROK founder, Mary Njoku, will continue in a leadership role as Director General of ROK Productions SAS and maintains a material shareholding in the company.

In Africa alone, ROK has produced over 540 movies and 25 original TV series, making ROK one of the most prolific production houses in Nollywood.

ROK will continue to produce Nollywood content to deliver movies and original TV series for CANAL+ Group’s audiences. As part of the acquisition, CANAL+ Group will continue to collaborate with IROKO Ltd, with a non-exclusive content distribution of ROK content via the IROKOtv SVOD app.

ROK was incubated from 2013 onwards by IROKO Ltd, the leading African digital content distributor for Nollywood content, whose flagship platform IROKOtv has transformed how Nollywood content is accessed and consumed around the world.

Speaking on the acquisition, Mary Njoku said, “ROK has captured the imagination of millions of movie fans, and they have truly supported us as we’ve grown the company to celebrate and enjoy our African culture. I’m excited to be taking our platform on the next stage of its journey with CANAL+ Group, who share our passion for creating original content, supporting new talent and together, we have ambitious plans for the future.”

France, Paris & Nigeria, Lagos

Related articles:

Future Media Group acquires W Magazine from Condé Nast

Future Media GroupFuture Media Group has acquired ‘W’ magazine from Condé Nast. The acquisition will bring W together with Surface and Watch Journal to form Future Media Group. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Group will continue to publish eight print issues of W annually while also expanding the brand’s digital and experiential footprint. Future Media Group has named Sara Moonves as the magazine’s new editor-in-chief. Moonves, who previously worked at Vogue and at T:The New York Times Style Magazine, joined the staff of W as Style Director in 2017.

Marc Lotenberg, CEO of Future Media Group, said “W has always been an extraordinary and visionary arbiter of style. For over 45 years, its pages have been filled with indelible imagery and exciting journalism. We look forward to honoring and building on that legacy. We know that W will serve as a perfect complement to the publications already in our portfolio.”

“Sara has impeccable taste and a keen eye for how a media brand should evolve in today’s fast-paced media landscape. She has enormous credibility in the fashion community, not to mention a forward-thinking sensibility that will bring W beyond its core print distribution into various offline, online and augmented formats.”

Future Media Group will operate W offices in Paris, Milan and New York, as well as a soon-to-be established bureau in Los Angeles.

USA, New York, NY

Easyfairs acquires Aesthetics Media

EasyfairsGlobal exhibition organiser Easyfairs has acquired the Aesthetics Media portfolio, which includes the Aesthetics Conference & Exhibition (ACE), the Aesthetics journal print and digital platform and the Aesthetics Awards. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With a complementary event, Clinical Cosmetic Regenerative (CCR), already in its stable, the acquisition is set to make Easyfairs the leading media provider to suppliers in the UK aesthetics sector.

Matt Benyon, Head of Easyfairs UK & Global, said, “We can now offer customers a phenomenal breadth of products and unparalleled opportunities to engage with aesthetics professionals – it’s a true 360-degree offering. This latest acquisition demonstrates, once again, our commitment to constantly invest in and develop our core markets. Companies in the aesthetics sector often have very different approaches, products, budgets and strategies. We recognise this fact and are utterly focused on meeting all of their needs, helping them prosper and grow. We are now incredibly well equipped to do just that.”

ACE is timed for Spring and aimed at healthcare professionals who practise medical aesthetics, such as dentists, doctors and nurses.

The combined exhibitions, awards and publication will be managed by Easyfairs UK & Global business, with the entire Aesthetics Media team joining Easyfairs as part of the acquisition.

In 2018 Easyfairs was named Belgium’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year®’ and the company is ranked 18 in the world’s leading exhibition companies.

Easyfairs currently organises more than 218 events in 17 countries and employs 750 people and generates revenues exceeding €157m for its financial year 2017-2018.

Belgium, Brussels & UK, London

Related articles:

Mediahuis to acquire Irish newspaper group INM for GBP 125.7M

MediahuisEuropean media group Mediahuis has agreed to buy Ireland’s largest newspaper group, Independent News & Media, for GBP 125.7 million in its first major deal outside Belgium and the Netherlands. Under the terms of the acquisition, INM shareholders will receive 10.5 cents (9p) per share.

INM publishes the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday World, The Herald, the Belfast Telegraph and other regional newspapers, accounting for more than 50% of the daily market and over 65% of the Sunday market in the Republic of Ireland.

Privately-owned Mediahuis, which sells more than 1.4 million newspapers a day in The Netherlands and Belgium including the De Telegraaf and De Standaard titles, said it saw a big potential in improving the Irish company’s online business. Founded in 2013, Mediahuis has grown rapidly through acquisitions and has a track record of combining innovative journalism with digital subscription services and paywalls.

Mediahuis chairman Thomas Leysen said, “We have the resources and the capabilities to further the digital transformation and enhance the digital capabilities of INM. We think it’s a good match”.

Belgium, Antwerp & Ireland, Dublin

Related articles:

S4 Capital acquires film studio Caramel Pictures and programmatic business ProgMedia

S4 CapitalMartin Sorrell’s S4 Capital has continued to expand the capabilities of its creative digital content production company MediaMonks and its programmatic consultancy MightyHive with the addition of two businesses.

MediaMonks has purchased food and liquids film studio Caramel Pictures, based in Amsterdam, for an undisclosed cash sum.

Broadening MediaMonks’ content studio’s capabilities, the purchase of the globally-operated studio adds directors, specialist crews, studio, robotic equipment and over 25 years of experience in digital photography and film for FMCG brands.

Caramel Pictures’ clients include Heinekin, KFC, KitKat, Lays, Magnum and Senseo, as well as FMCG companies such as Coca-Cola, Danone, Nestlé and Unilever.

MightyHive has merged with ProgMedia, a Sao Paulo-based programmatic consultancy founded two years ago by ex-Google employees Bruno Rebouças and Natalia Fernandes.

ProgMedia will become MightyHive’s Latin American base, helping the consultancy capture market opportunity and extend its capabilities in the world’s fourth largest market. The South American consultancy currently employs 27 people and its clients include iFood and Serasa Consumidor.

Consideration for ProgMedia will be half cash and half in S4 Capital ordinary shares, which will have a two-year restriction on sale. A completion payment will be made based on the audited accounts for 2018 and a further payment will be made based on achieving the targeted earnings before EBITDA for 2019, as soon as the audited accounts are available.

S4 Capital executive chairman Sir Martin Sorrell said that these two additions were in line with S4 Capital’s recently announced strategic imperatives. He added, “Client interest in our purely digital, first party data, always-on 24/7 programmatic model is frenetic. These two further strategic moves in the premium quality, digital content area and programmatic in Latam deepen and broaden that powerfully attractive offer.”

UK, London, NL, Amsterdam & Brazil, São Paulo

Bauer to acquire Wireless Local Stations

Bauer Media GroupBauer Media Group is to acquire Wireless local stations across England and Wales. Wireless is made up of fifteen licences across Lancashire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and South Wales. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media and European Radio, commented, “We are delighted with our acquisition of Wireless local licences. This group of established, successful stations complements our existing portfolio and extends our reach and local advertising offer to new areas of the UK.”

Wireless local stations, with a weekly reach of 850,000 listeners, build on Bauer’s previous successful acquisitions of Celador Radio and Lincs FM Group.

He added, “The Wireless local stations acquisition further underlines our belief in the UK and in radio. Outstanding content and growing audiences have driven three years of consecutive records for UK radio ad revenue. As the medium grows ever-more digital and adapts to new listening devices the opportunity expands to offer new and interesting services for listeners and advertisers. It’s a very exciting time to be in the audio business.”

UK, London & Germany, Hamburg

Related articles:

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

Related articles: