Immediate Media Co acquires majority stake in River Street

Immediate Media CoSpecial interest content and platform company Immediate Media Co has acquired a majority stake in River Street Events Ltd, a producer of consumer food and gardening events/festivals in the UK. The deal sees Immediate acquire the remainder of the business in late 2020. No further details of the transaction were disclosed.

Established in 2013, River Street Events produces some of the UK’s most successful consumer events – including the live events for BBC Good Food Show and BBC Gardeners’ World Live – attracting over 250,000 visitors a year.

This deal further strengthens Immediate’s events capabilities, following the recent acquisition of Upper Street Events, providing exciting further potential growth opportunities in the live consumer events market.

River Street Events founder Laura Biggs will remain group managing director until the end of 2020, working alongside Immediate’s Managing Director of Live Events, Paul Byrom.

Immediate Media CEO Tom Bureau said, “We’ve identified live consumer events as an important growth area for Immediate, focused around our high value special interest communities and aligned with our portfolio of market-leading brands.

“Our investment into River Street, who we know well through our partnerships with BBC Good Food Live and BBC Gardeners’ World Live, fits perfectly with this strategy, as we continue to accelerate our multiplatform transformation across print, digital, TV and, now, live events. I’m delighted that we will be working with Laura and her team to continue to build this fantastic business.”

UK, London & Kingston upon Thames

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Immediate Media acquires Upper Street Events

Immediate MediaImmediate Media Co, the special interest content and platform company, is to acquire Upper Street Events Ltd, one of the UK’s leading producers of consumer enthusiast events. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Upper Street Events is a specialist producer of over 15 events a year at the heart of the UK’s art & design, craft, cycling, dance and specialist travel scene. The acquisition of Upper Street significantly strengthens Immediate’s strategic audience development capabilities. The alignment of the special interest events, such as craft, with Immediate’s existing portfolio of brands, should create future growth opportunities.

Immediate reaches over 22 million UK consumers monthly across a range of special interest sectors, including food, cycling, parenting, weddings and craft. In the craft sector alone, Immediate reaches four million active crafters every month across its current content platforms.

Immediate Media CEO Tom Bureau said, “The acquisition of Upper Street Events is a further step in Immediate’s multiplatform transformation complementing our strategy of focusing on special interest content and communities. We see significant opportunities for growth and development in the events space, both in the markets Upper Street already operate in and with our portfolio of market-leading brands. This deal enhances our ability to offer our consumers world class content, products, services and experiences, across print, digital and live events.”

UK, London

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UBM acquires majority economic interest of Shanghai International Franchise Exhibition

UBM SinExpoUBM Sinoexpo, a subsidiary of UBM plc, has acquired a 70% economic interest in the Shanghai International Franchise Exhibition, organised by Shanghai Exhibition-Conference Ltd.

Established in 2005, the biannual SFE is one of the largest franchising events in China, hosting 221 exhibitors with over 450 brands and 50,261 visitors in the spring 2018 edition. SFE’s exhibitors are mainly in the food, beverage and retail sectors which is reflective of the trends in the Chinese franchise market today. Every year investors, potential franchisees, distributors, agents, dealers, and social organisations attend the two events in search of new, foreign, and commercially attractive franchise brands for the domestic market.

According to the China Chain Store & Franchise Association, China’s top franchises generates total sales of RMB 428 billion from 124,068 stores across the country. Currently, China has over 4,500 franchises and chain store companies creating more than 5 million jobs nationwide. Foreign franchise brands are becoming increasingly interested in 2nd and 3rd tier Chinese cities given favourable labour costs, reasonably priced real estate facilities, and untapped consumer spending.

Jime Essink, President and CEO of UBM Asia, said, “Our combination with SFE comes at an opportune time given our complimentary resources and shows in China. The Spring edition of SFE has already successfully co-located with our Hotel Plus event at SNIEC for two editions and we plan to co-locate SFE’s autumn edition with Food & Hotel China this November. The synergies and crossovers between professionals in the food, beverage, and retail sectors of these collocated events creates a complete and compelling industry value chain opportunity for visitors and exhibitors.”

The next edition of SFE will take place on 13-15 November 2018 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

Shanghai

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YottaMark acquires personalised food information company ShopWell

HARVESTMARK ACQUIRES SHOPWELLYottaMark has acquired substantially all the assets of ShopWell Solutions, Inc., the personalised food information company.  YottaMark will integrate the ShopWell team into its HarvestMark Insights group, and ShopWell’s website and mobile applications will become YottaMark branded properties. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The ShopWell app helps people make smart decisions about the food they eat. Personalised results show easy-to-understand food scores and recommend foods based on the shopper’s specific dietary needs. At home or in the store, shoppers simply scan a food’s barcode to get nutrition information and find out if the food is a good match. The recommendation engine technology is powered by patent-pending algorithms designed by Registered Dietitians and statisticians, and draws on guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Institute of Medicine, and the latest peer reviewed research.

“This acquisition anchors HarvestMark’s strategy as the leading provider of trusted information about food, and provides a critical channel to reach shoppers across the entire grocery store”, said Elliott Grant , YottaMark’s Founder & CTO.  He added, “a producer will now be able to determine which characteristics drive preference and repeat purchase.  A retailer will have the ability to rapidly measure how merchandizing, store operations or supply decisions are affecting shopper satisfaction.  In today’s highly competitive food market – this edge provided by shopper insights can make the difference between a profitable product and failure.”

USA, Redwood City, CA

Scripps Networks Interactive Acquires Asian Food Channel

afcScripps Networks Interactive Inc. has acquired Asian Food Channel (AFC), a food-focused pay television network. The Asian Food Channel, which is based in Singapore, reaches about 8 million subscribers in 11 markets.

“Asia and the rapid growth in pay television households throughout the region hold great promise for Scripps Networks Interactive and its international ambitions,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Acquiring the Asian Food Channel significantly expands our presence in key growth markets and provides us with a solid foundation on which to build a growing lifestyle media business in the region. The channel aligns perfectly with our lifestyle programming focus.”

The Asian Food Channel broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week and leverages a substantial library of acquired Asian and international video content as well as a growing number of originally-produced programs. The network generates revenues through regional and local advertising sales as well as fees from pay television operators.

Derek Chang, who was appointed recently as managing director of the Asia Pacific region for Scripps Networks Interactive, will oversee the management and integration of the Asian Food Channel. He also will oversee operations of Scripps Networks Interactive’s existing networks in the region.

USA, Knoxville, TN & Singapore

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