IHS Markit and Informa exchange business units

IHS MarkitFinancial data company IHS Markit and Informa, the international exhibitions, events, information services and scholarly research group, have exchanged the majority of the IHS Markit Technology, Media and Telecoms intelligence business for Informa’s Agribusiness Intelligence Informa plcgroup.

The agreement values the two exchanged businesses at equivalent EBITDA multiples, with Informa contributing an additional $30 million cash to IHS Markit to reflect the larger EBITDA contribution from the TMT business. IHS Markit will retain RootMetrics, its benchmarking business and a portion of its market intelligence business. Both transactions are expected to close in July 2019 and are subject to customary closing conditions, including US regulatory approval.

IHS Markit confirmed that the transaction will not affect its capital allocation strategy to delever its debt ratio below 3.0x and complete USD 500 million in share repurchases in 2019.

Lance Uggla, CEO of IHS Markit said, “The Informa Agribusiness Intelligence portfolio is a clear extension of our Chemical and Downstream businesses and builds our existing data, pricing, insights, forecasting and news services within our Resources segment. Agriculture is the largest end chemical market in the world and this transaction expands our capabilities into fertilizers and chemical crop protection, while substantively expanding our capabilities in biofuels.”

UK, London

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Mediahuis to acquire Irish newspaper group INM for GBP 125.7M

MediahuisEuropean media group Mediahuis has agreed to buy Ireland’s largest newspaper group, Independent News & Media, for GBP 125.7 million in its first major deal outside Belgium and the Netherlands. Under the terms of the acquisition, INM shareholders will receive 10.5 cents (9p) per share.

INM publishes the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday World, The Herald, the Belfast Telegraph and other regional newspapers, accounting for more than 50% of the daily market and over 65% of the Sunday market in the Republic of Ireland.

Privately-owned Mediahuis, which sells more than 1.4 million newspapers a day in The Netherlands and Belgium including the De Telegraaf and De Standaard titles, said it saw a big potential in improving the Irish company’s online business. Founded in 2013, Mediahuis has grown rapidly through acquisitions and has a track record of combining innovative journalism with digital subscription services and paywalls.

Mediahuis chairman Thomas Leysen said, “We have the resources and the capabilities to further the digital transformation and enhance the digital capabilities of INM. We think it’s a good match”.

Belgium, Antwerp & Ireland, Dublin

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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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