Meredith sells Fortune magazine to Thai billionaire for $150M

MEREDITH CORPORATION LOGOU.S. media company Meredith Corp is selling Fortune magazine for $150 million in cash to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon, the second time the influential business magazine has changed hands this year. Best known for the “Fortune 500” list, the magazine was acquired by Meredith as part of its acquisition of Time Inc in January for $1.84 billion.

Jiaravanon is best known for his affiliation with Charoen Pokphand Group, or C.P. Group, a business conglomerate with stakes in the Thai telecommunications, food, retail and automotive industries.

The Fortune sale is expected to close before the end of the year and it will be a personal holding of Jiaravanon. In a statement, Jiaravanon said he wants to make Fortune “the world’s leading business media brand. The demand for high-quality business information is growing and with further committed investment in technology and brilliant journalism, we believe the outlook for further profitable growth is excellent both for the publication and the events business”.

Alan Murray, who has been editor of Fortune since 2014 and previously served as chief content officer of Time Inc., is becoming president and CEO of Fortune. He wrote on Twitter that he’s “delighted to have found a buyer for Fortune that shares our mission, our independence and will invest to make Fortune grow.”

USA, New York, NY

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Private equity group Epiris buys NME publisher Time UK

EpirisPrivate equity group Epiris‘s Fund II has acquired Time UK from US media group Meredith Corporation, a month after Meredith purchased the magazine publisher. The terms of transaction were not disclosed.

Time UK’s portfolio encompasses more than 50 well-known brands, including NME, Country Life, What’s on TV, Woman’s Weekly and Wallpaper, and operates across multiple platforms – print, online, mobile, TV and experiences.

The company is led by CEO and PPA Chairman Marcus Rich, who joined TIUK in 2014 from DMG Media. Sir Bernard Gray, who is Chairman of New Scientist and formerly Non-executive Director of Immediate Media and Chief of Defence Material at the Ministry of Defence, will become Executive Chairman.

Alex Fortescue, Managing Partner of Epiris, said, “This deal is a complex corporate carve-out of the type in which we specialise. The business itself offers plentiful scope for transformation through operational improvement and M&A. We are thrilled to have got Fund II off to such a strong start.”

Chris Hanna, partner at Epiris, said, “At its heart this is a diverse, robust and cash-generative business. We intend to bring clarity and simplicity to it, to focus on maximising the potential of its high-quality portfolio.”

UK, London & USA, Des Moines, Iowa

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Meredith Corporation completes acquisition of Time Inc.

MeredithMeredith Corporation has completed its acquisition of Time Inc., with February 2018 the first day of operations for the combined company. Time Inc. shareholders received $18.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.8 billion originally announced on 26 November 2017. Meredith also announced fiscal 2018 second quarter and first half results.

Meredith Corporation Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy said, “With this acquisition, we are creating a premier media and marketing company serving 200 million American consumers that’s positioned for growth across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile, and social platforms. The combined portfolio joins the rich content-creation capabilities of many of the media industry’s strongest national brands with a powerful local television business that is generating record earnings.”

USA, New York, NY & Des Moines, Iowa

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India’s Times Internet acquires spiritual content app House of God

Times Internet IndiaTimes Internet Ltd, a subsidiary of media house Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd, has acquired the spiritual content app House of God, which is run by Innertech Media Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Innertech Media Solutions is a New Delhi-based startup, incorporated in 2017 and incubated at EROS Labs, which offers online religious media, product and services covering six different religions.

Gautam Sinha, CEO of Times Internet, said, “Our user base has continuously asked for innovative products and services in the religious and spiritual interest category. Consistent to our strategy of catering to a mobile-first audience base in India, the House of God acquisition will extend our leadership in spiritual content experiences”.

India, Gurgaon Haryana & New Delhi

Yahoo acquires to-do app Astrid

YahooYahoo Inc has acquired yet another app business, this time buying to-do app Astrid. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Astrid app is available on Android phones, Android tablets, iPhone, iPad, and the web. It enables users to sync their lists across allastrid their devices with cloud backup.

Astrid will continue to work as is for the next 90 days, but will no longer be taking new premium subscriptions. In the announcement on the Astrid blog, Astrid founder and CEO Jon Paris said that Yahoo! will be administering refunds to eligible users who have paid for annual subscriptions, Power-Pack and Locale Plugins.

Astrid had raised $400K in seed finding in April 2012 from Google Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Jack Herrick and TMT Ventures.

In March Yahoo acquired mobile news aggregator Summly for around $30 million.

USA, Sunnydale, CA & San Francisco, CA

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Thomson Reuters acquires Apsmart

Thomson Reuters has acquired Apsmart, a London-based mobile platform and product development firm that was majority owned by DN Capital. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Apsmart acquisition will improve Thomson Reuters ability to provide customers with mobile solutions that drive a competitive differentiation in the marketplace.

Mobile is an increasingly significant way in which professionals work and consume information. The acquisition of Apsmart will enhance Thomson Reuters mobile product creation, design and development, allowing the company to deliver even more expert-enriched content, news and solutions through the interfaces that professionals want on the mobile devices they use.

Founded in 2009 by DN Capital and Rahul Powar, creator of the first Shazam iPhone application, Apsmart is at the cutting edge of mobile build and design. The team is well known for creating connected, data-driven applications for iOS and Android devices.

“This new team brings strong experience in end–to–end mobile development capabilities from user experience and design through to product realization and platform services,” said Robert Schukai, global head of mobile technology at Thomson Reuters. “As we move forward, we will have a greater ability to develop foundational mobile capabilities that build significant brand value in our mobile product portfolio.”

“The team at Apsmart is excited about the opportunity to apply our diverse mix of skills to the large Thomson Reuters customer base. We look forward to helping drive the strategy and creation of significant new experiences in mobile across the organization,” said Rahul Powar, new head of mobile application development at Thomson Reuters.

The addition of the Apsmart team will build upon the success of the advanced suite of Thomson Reuters mobile offerings which include Thomson Reuters WestlawNext and Thomson Reuters ProView eReader.

USA, New York, NY & UK, London

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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