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

Related articles:

Park Group and Studio Squared merge to form Tilt Creative + Production

Tilt CPFilm and video production firm Park Group and the content specialists from Studio Squared have merged as Tilt Creative + Production, a fully integrated creative and production firm formed to assist national and local clients with creation of traditional and digital video content.

Park GroupUnder the terms of the merger, Park Group founder Dave Trownsell and partner Stacy Murphy will hold a minority share of TiltCP, which is majority owned by former S2 president Ron Carey. Carey will serve as CEO of the combined entity, which employs just under 40 people.Studio Squared

“Combining as one allows us to concept a creative idea, produce that idea, edit that idea and pull it off through the efficiencies we gain by keeping the entire process in-house,” says Carey, who served as a senior vice president at The Martin Agency before joining S2 in 2014. “Content is proliferating across a number of traditional and digital channels and screen sizes, so we have built TiltCP to deliver a high volume of quality, creative content that remains reflective of every client’s brand.”

The Park and S2 merger comes as content demands for global brands are shifting away from traditional channels and moving onto a variety of digital platforms, streaming services, social media sites, and mobile devices. With the newfound demand comes the need for a high volume of creative production that must be met with speed and efficiency while still maintaining quality and ensuring that the client’s brand is accurately presented in the final product.

“As we have for over thirty years, our team will continue offering full-service production for television, film, and traditional advertising and marketing needs,” Trownsell says. “As we looked to the future of our industry, we recognized that we must also evolve and combine creative, strategy, production and post-production under one roof to offer clients a leaner and more responsive model to meet their needs.”

Founded in 1986, Park Group has become one of the largest media production groups in Virginia, offering national clients turnkey production and post-production services. S2 was formed by The Martin Agency in 2008 to produce digital point-of-sale, in-store advertising for major retailers and other businesses. The company was taken private this year by Carey, and several previous S2 employees have joined TiltCP. Clients include Walmart, Audi, Capital One, Ferguson Enterprises, and others.

USA, Richmond, VA

McGraw-Hill Education acquire ALEKS Corporation,

McgrawhilleducationMcGraw-Hill Education is to acquire ALEKS Corporation, the privately held developer of the ALEKS® adaptive learning technology for the K-12 and higher education markets. The acquisition is McGraw-Hill Education’s first since it was acquired by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, in March 2013. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur early in the third quarter of 2013.

aleksALEKS uses research-based, artificial intelligence to rapidly and precisely determine each student’s knowledge state, pinpointing exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know. ALEKS then instructs students on the topics they’re most ready to learn, constantly updating each student’s knowledge state and adapting to the student’s individualized learning needs. McGraw-Hill Education has marketed and sold ALEKS for math in the higher education space for more than 10 years.

In January 2013, McGraw-Hill Education acquired an equity stake in Area9 Aps, the Denmark-based adaptive learning company. McGraw-Hill Education and Area9 have worked together to develop products such as the LearnSmart Advantage adaptive learning suite, which includes SmartBook, the world’s first-ever adaptive e-book.

“At McGraw-Hill Education, our number one focus is providing solutions that generate improved results for students, educators, and institutions, and we believe that delivering personalized experiences through adaptive technology is a key ingredient to teaching and learning success,” said Buzz Waterhouse, president and chief executive officer of McGraw-Hill Education. “Through our acquisition of ALEKS, we’re working to grow and further develop the type of engaging, personalized experiences that we see as a central element in the future of education.”

McGraw-Hill Education will continue to sell ALEKS as a standalone solution over the near term, but the company plans deeper integration between ALEKS and its content and digital platforms.  As part of the acquisition, McGraw-Hill Education will maintain ALEKS Corporation’s current offices in Irvine, Calif.

USA, New York, NY & Irvine, CA

Related articles:

Games company Zattikka lists on AIM and makes three acquisitions

Zattikka plc, a social and casual internet games development and publishing business, has listed in AIM. The Company has completed a placing with institutional and other investors, raising approximately £12.6 million, with proceeds to be used to fund the acquisition of three online games companies and ongoing working capital.

Zattikka is a newly-incorporated company, focused on developing and publishing interactive games entertainment products across internet connected platforms, through various media channels. These channels include PC web browsers, social networks, mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets), connected consoles, and other emerging platforms including IP TVs and set top boxes.

Contemporaneous with admission, Zattikka will complete the acquisitions of three online games companies:

  • Hattrick Holdings
  • Sneaky Games, Inc.
  • Concept Art House, Inc.

The acquisitions will provide Zattikka with products that can then be sold to end-customers in key European, US and Chinese markets, either directly through its own websites, or through third-party digital distribution channels or other new digital platforms.

The vision for the Company is to become a large scale, diverse games publisher with products operating across growth digital platforms, and with a targeted geographic emphasis in Europe, the US and China. The Company proposes to achieve this by developing Zattikka through strategic acquisitions and accelerating on-going organic growth.

Mark Opzoomer, Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are delighted to list on AIM to provide the capital base and incentivise the entrepreneurs joining our group. We begin with a strong group of companies with operations in key gaming centres in the USA, China and Europe, a mix of revenues across subscriptions, virtual goods and work for hire with an exceptional team of talent. We have a great opportunity before us to accelerate the growth of this initial group across multi-platforms to create a world class games entertainment group.”

UK, London