Trinity Mirror plc to acquire Northern & Shell’s publishing assets

Trinity MirrorTrinity Mirror is to acquire Northern & Shell‘s publishing assets for a total purchase price of £126.7 million. These comprise Northern & Shell Network Limited, a subsidiary of Northern & Shell Media Group Limited containing the publishing assets of Northern & Shell and its subsidiaries, International Distribution 2018 Limited and a 50% equity interest in Independent Star Limited.

The purchase consideration of £126.7 million will be satisfied by the payment to the Northern & Shell Media Group Limited of, in aggregate, an initial cash consideration of £47.7 million; deferred cash consideration of £59.0 million payable over 2020 – 2023; and the balance of £20.0 million by the issue to the Seller of 25,826,746 new ordinary shares of 10p each. Trinity Mirror will also make a one-off cash payment of £41.2 million to the Northern & Shell Pension Schemes and a recovery plan through to 2027 has been agreed with total payments of £29.2 million.

Northern & Shell’s publishing assets include a portfolio of newspapers and magazines which comprise four national newspaper titles (the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday) and three celebrity magazines (OK!, New!, and Star) together with a 50% joint venture interest in the Irish Daily Star, outside the UK. Northern & Shell operates a print plant in Luton, serving its portfolio of newspapers and magazines as well as providing third-party printing services.

The Express.co.uk and Dailystar.co.uk websites achieved 280 million page views in December 2017 compared to 649 million for the Trinity Mirror websites (excluding apps and galleries).

Northern & Shell’s publishing assets performed well in 2017 despite continued pressure on its print advertising revenues. Total revenues (after separation adjustments) are estimated to have marginally increased in 2017, with growth in newspaper circulation revenues (arising from the partial reversal of cover price discounting) and digital revenues offsetting declines in print advertising revenues. Adjusted EBITDA (after separation adjustments) is estimated to be circa. £34 million, benefiting from operational and strategic reductions in printing and production, marketing and other operating costs.

Simon Fox, chief executive of Trinity Mirror, said: “This deal is a really exciting moment in Trinity Mirror’s history, combining some of the most iconic titles in the UK media industry. It is good for our readers, good for our customers and good for our shareholders. Northern and Shell’s titles have a large and loyal readership, a growing digital presence and a stable revenue mix and offer an excellent fit with Trinity Mirror.”

UK, London

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Penske Media acquires controlling interest in Wenner Media and Rolling Stone

Penske Media CorporationPenske Media Corporation has acquired Wenner Media, majority owner of Rolling Stone. The multi-media brand features music reviews, in-depth interviews, political commentary and award-winning journalism across various platforms including magazine, digital, mobile, social and event marketing. The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Since its founding in 1967 by Jann Wenner and Ralph J. Gleason, Rolling Stone has defined pop culture for generations of readers and is an iconic brand in publishing and music. Five decades later, Rolling Stone has evolved into a multi-platform content brand reaching over 60 million people per month.

Penske Media chairman and CEO Jay Penske said, “Our interest in Rolling Stone is driven by its people, its cultural significance, and the globally-recognized brand that has no peer in its areas of influence. We believe that Penske Media is uniquely qualified to partner with the Wenners to ensure the brand continues to ascend for decades across multiple media platforms.”

USA, Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY

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Media Development Investment Fund acquires majority stake in South Africa’s Mail & Guardian

MDIF Media Development Investment FundMedia Development Investment Fund, a New York-based not-for-profit investment fund for independent media in emerging markets, has acquired a majority stake in South African media company Mail & Guardian. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The restructured ownership sees M&G’s Chief Executive Officer, Hoosain Karjieker, acquire a minority stake in the business as part of a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction.

The Mail & Guardian is an award-winning South African title edited by Khadija Patel who was this week named as one of Africa’s leading talents by the New African magazine.

Trevor Ncube, the newspaper’s former publisher, said “My partner for 14 years, the MDIF, under the leadership of Harlan Mandel have put forward a compelling case plan that will ensure the survival of the M&G well into the future. Ownership of the M&G is equivalent to carrying a baton that gets passed on from generation to generation with just this underlying principle: Editorial independence is sacrosanct. I have often said my role over the past 25 years has been more of a custodian of a great South African asset, than an owner.”

USA, New York, NY & South Africa, Johannesburg

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