Salesforce founder Marc Benioff to acquire Time Magazine for $190M

Time MagazineBillionaire and co-founder of Salesforce.com, Marc Benioff – along with his wife, Lynne Benioff – are to buy Time Magazine for an estimated $190 million in cash, just eight months after it was sold to Meredith Corporation. The deal could close within one month, but it must first get regulatory approval.

The Benioffs, who are purchasing the magazine personally in a the deal unrelated to Salesforce, will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by TIME’s current executive leadership team.

Meredith completed its purchase of Time at the end of January 2018. Soon after its completion, Meredith said it was selling Time’s news and sports brands to focus on other brands that served its core target audience: American women.

Benioff recently tweeted, “The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all. A treasure trove of our history & culture. We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand”.

Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal said, “On behalf of the entire TIME team, we are very excited to begin this next chapter in our history. We can’t imagine better stewards for TIME than Marc and Lynne Benioff.”

USA, New York, NY & Des Moines, Iowa

 

Vitesse Media to buy InvestmentNews for $27.1M

Vitesse Media plcDigital media and events company Vitesse Media is to acquire InvestmentNews, a leading source of news, analysis and information to the financial advisory community from its parent, Crain Communications Inc., for approximately $27.1 million. The deal is expected to close mid-August.

As part of the deal, InvestmentNews’ leadership team will remain intact — as will its award-winning editorial, multimedia, audience, custom, research & data, marketing, sales and event divisions.

Crain launched InvestmentNews in 1997 as a weekly magazine covering the U.S. financial advice profession. InvestmentNews has since expanded its engagement with its core audience through the launch of an award-winning website, live events and research and data offerings. Today, InvestmentNews is the No. 1 media brand in the financial advice market, with more than 150,000 weekly print readers. InvestmentNews.com garners an average of 545,000 unique visitors each month. In addition, InvestmentNews operates a growing events business, which includes the Retirement Income Summit, Woman Adviser Summit and Best Practices Workshop. It is also produces editorial and custom research relevant to advisers and the businesses that serve them.

Simon Stilwell, who was appointed CEO of Vitesse in August 2017, said, “InvestmentNews is the leading brand in its community, it fits well into the Vitesse stable and provides the company with the opportunity to pursue other bolt on opportunities to expand, especially in its events and data business. Its American presence further allows us to expand our reach geographically, a key aspect of our future strategy.”

Upon completion of the deal, Vitesse will change its name to Bonhill Group plc, subject to shareholders’ approval.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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Africa.com acquires iAfrica from Primedia and MTN

Africa.comMedia holding company Africa.com has acquired Primedia and MTN-owned news portal, iAfrica.com. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

iAfrica was founded in the late 1990s, and continues to serve as a news source. Africa.com chairman and CEO, Teresa Clarke, will serve as executive editor of iAfrica, whose content will continue to include a wide array of coverage of local and international news, business, sport, and lifestyle content.

Clarke said, “The acquisition of iAfrica creates a next generation South African media platform with a global reach. By acquiring iAfrica, we are able to combine editorial, technology, and marketing resources, bringing the benefits of more original content and better site performance to readers of both iAfrica and Africa.com”.

Laura Joseph, Africa.com’s Managing Director, added, “We are fusing a legendary African news portal with an innovative and dynamic management team under one umbrella. With combined resources, we will continue to make each site better and better.”

South Africa, Johannesburg & Cape Town

Acuris acquires Sparkspread

AcurisAcuris, the BC Partners and GIC backed provider of data, research, intelligence and analysis, has acquired SparkSpread, an online news service providing intelligence on M&A and financing in the global energy business. The financial terms were not disclosed.

 

New York-headquartered SparkSpread was founded by journalists Will Ainger and Victor Kremer in 2005. It will become part of Acuris’ Infrastructure division.

“We are excited to welcome the acclaimed SparkSpread team to the growing Acuris family,” said Hamilton Matthews, CEO of Acuris. “We have been considering ways to broaden our energy sector coverage for asset managers, fund investors and advisors alike. We look forward to collaborating with Will and Victor to achieve this.”

 

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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Blackstone-led consortium agrees partnership with Thomson Reuters for financial & risk business

 

Thomson ReutersFollowing our earlier reporting on talks between Thomson Reuters and private equity firm Blackstone, the transaction has now been agreed on, with Thomson Reuters to sell a 55% majority stake in its F&R business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone. The transaction values the F&R business at approximately $20 billion. Thomson Reuters will receive approximately $17 billion in gross proceeds at closing (subject to purchase price adjustments) funded by $14 billion of debt and preferred equity to be incurred by the partnership and a $3 billion cash equity contribution by Blackstone. Thomson Reuters will retain a 45% interest in the F&R business. Thomson Reuters will also maintain full ownership of its Legal, Tax & Accounting and the Reuters News businesses. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and GIC will invest alongside Blackstone for the transaction.

The F&R business provides a broad range of offerings to financial market professionals. Its global content sets include fundamentals, estimates and primary and secondary research. F&R also provides customers with tools, platforms, venues and services to enable fast, intelligent decision-making. The businesses that will comprise the new F&R partnership had 2017 revenues of approximately $6 billion.

At the closing of the proposed transaction, F&R and Reuters News will sign a 30-year agreement for Reuters to supply news and editorial content to the new partnership. Under the agreement, F&R will pay Reuters a minimum of $325 million annually. For the duration of the news contract, Thomson Reuters will grant F&R a license to permit F&R to brand its information feeds and products/services with the “Reuters” mark, subject to applicable limitations and restrictions set forth in a trademark license agreement.

Jim Smith, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters, said, “This deal strengthens F&R and should accelerate its growth and benefit its customers across the sell-side, buy-side and trading venues. Blackstone’s strong relationships in the financial services industry and long and successful history of corporate partnerships will help F&R provide new and innovative products and services, drive further efficiencies and navigate ongoing industry consolidation.”

Canada, Toronto, Ontario & USA, New York, NY

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Schneps Communications acquires Noticia Long Island

SchnepsSchneps Communications, the parent company of the Long Island Press, has acquired Noticia, a Spanish-language media company with more than 150,000 readers online and in print. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1991 by William and Vicky Diaz whose daughters Silvana (now the publisher) and Cinthia became co-owners in 2009, the newspaper covers and circulates in the counties of Nassau & Suffolk. It ran Hispanic networking events and a scholarship fund, Fundación Hispanoamericana, for many years. It is now the largest Hispanic family-owned multimedia news organization in the area.

Victoria Schneps-Yunis, president and founder of Schneps Communications, said, “We’re very proud to have acquired Noticia and the very special people who have built it the past 26 years. This will offer an unparalleled opportunity for clients who want to reach the Hispanic/Latino audience in New York City and Long Island.”

USA, New York, NY

The News Lens acquires tech news website Inside

The News LensThe News Lens has acquired Inside, a tech-focused Chinese language news website, making TNL the first digital media startup in Taiwan to buy another one. The move will raise TNL to the top ranks of Asian digital news sources on technology. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With Inside, TNL’s lifestyle sub-brand ELD and the original Chinese-language news site TNL, the TNL group now reaches close to 8 million unique visitors a month. From its offices in Taipei and Hong Kong, TNL produces three other digital editions – Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and the English-language international edition.

TNL also welcomed a new angel investor, Felix Hong, manager of Nest (an Alphabet company) to the Taiwan office. Hong will serve as an adviser to TNL. With his extensive background in tech, the internet of things and the startup ecosystem within greater China, Hong will strengthen TNL’s presence in content distribution, international reach and content advisory. He will also help TNL to position and build Inside.

Joey Chung, TNL’s CEO and co-founder, said, “As we start our next stage strategy of gradually consolidating and introducing different verticals for our target audience with an eye on leveraging TNL’s existing sales, video, IT and international market presence, we are eager to broaden the content offerings and international audience reach of Inside, while using this initial integration experience as a template for acquiring or introducing future brands.”

Taiwan