Mark Allen Group to acquire Centaur Media’s engineering portfolio for £2.5M

Mark Allen GroupThe Mark Allen Group, a specialist information provider and event organiser, has agreed to purchase Centaur Media Plc’s engineering portfolio, including The Engineer and Subcon for £2.5 million. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This transaction follows MAG’s purchase of 12 publishing brands in the aviation, automotive and arena sectors from UKi Media & Events Limited last week.

The engineering portfolio includes the market’s leading website, magazine and events, and has deep industry relationships and a diversified client base. The Engineer is one of the UK’s longest-running business publications and is supplemented by Subcon, which is an event for subcontract manufacturing professionals.

The sale comes as Centaur continues the divestment of its smaller businesses following the conclusion of a strategic review last October and its decision to improve operational execution by focusing on its leading brands. The transaction is expected to complete on 31 May.

Ben Allen, Chief Executive of Mark Allen Group, said, “The acquisition of these premium brands is part of our strategy to target well-established products in markets where we believe there are exciting growth opportunities. These assets will further strengthen our existing manufacturing and engineering publishing and event portfolio, which includes titles such as New Electronics and Eureka, as well as the Engineering Design Show.”

UK, London

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Mark Allen Group completes acquisition of 12 UKi Media magazines

Mark Allen GroupThe Mark Allen Group has acquired 12 magazines in the aviation, automotive and transport, and entertainment sectors from owner UKi Media & Events. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

They are: Business Airport International, Business Jet Interiors International, Aircraft Interiors International, Aerospace Testing International, Air Traffic Technology International, Industrial Vehicle Technology International, Traffic Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International, Vehicle Dynamics International, Railway Interiors International, Stadia and Auditoria.

The magazines will trade in a newly-formed company, MA Aviation and Auto International Limited. The 22 transferring staff, will be based in the group’s business offices in Hawley Mill, Dartford in Kent.

Chairman of the Mark Allen Group, Mark Allen, said, “I am delighted that, after five months of negotiations, we have finally completed this deal. I would like to thank owner Tony Robinson and managing director Graham Johnson for helping to navigate this difficult process to such a successful outcome. Above all, I want to compliment the staff, whom we have started to get to know, for their patience and engagement. They are a very committed and talented group and we greatly look forward to working with them.”

UK, London & Dorking

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DC Thomson Media acquires PSP Media

DC Thomson MediaDC Thomson Media has acquired PSP Media, a Glasgow-based publisher and event specialist. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Having bought No.1 magazine from PSP Media in 2015, a number of adjacencies and synergies were identified between the two businesses. With this acquisition, DC Thomson Media enters new markets including both B2B and B2C events and exhibitions of scale, and contract publishing.

Mike Watson, Chief Executive Officer at DC Thomson Media, said, “I’m thrilled to have Paul, Tom and the PSP team join the business. At DC Thomson Media we are working to protect our core newspaper and magazine business whilst achieving sustainable business growth. The diversification into new sectors that PSP Media brings is an exciting opportunity for everyone involved.”

UK, Dundee & Glasgow

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Future plc acquires Cycling News and Procycling

Future plcFuture plc has acquired two specialist consumer brands from Immediate Media: Co – CyclingNews.com and Procycling Magazine. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 1995, Cycling News has a brand reach of over 3.3 million and is, says Future, the world’s biggest pro-cycling website. Procycling launched in 1999 and publishes 13 print issues annually.

Future says it is dedicated to building specialist brands and that Cyclingnews and Procycling perfectly complement its consumer hobbies portfolio. According to Future, the cycling market is set to grow from £2.6bn to over £3bn by 2020. Public interest in professional cycling in the UK has grown during the past decade, buoyed by the success of Team GB and Team Sky during this period. With each of the Grand Tours of 2018 being won by British riders, the emerging success of Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates has further driven interest and enthusiasm for cycling within the UK. This has also been reflected in a good underlying trend in the UK cycling retail market, which has seen strong growth over this period and is forecast to continue to grow towards £3.0bn by 2020.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “The acquisition of these brands will expand our presence in the sport and outdoor leisure vertical and is a clear demonstration of our strategy to leverage enduring content on our technology platform to further diversify our revenue streams. Cycling News and Procycling are respected brands with leading market positions that will complement our existing portfolio whilst extending our reach into new adjacent communities. These brands are leading worldwide voices on professional cycling, offering analysis, insight, gorgeous photography and exclusive interviews with the industry greats.

“We have a proven methodology and track record of integration and we are confident that this deal will drive further growth in operating profitability and cash generation. You may remember that these brands were originally published by Future before we sold them to Immediate in 2014. Buying them back is a special moment for us to honour a piece of our heritage and a fantastic opportunity to expand our portfolio into the world of cycling.”

UK, London

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Mercator Media acquires Marine & Coastal Engineering Expo

Mercator MediaMercator Media Limited has acquired the Marine & Coastal Civil Engineering Expo (M&CCE Expo) from the Prysm Group. M&CCE Expo, an event showcasing the latest equipment and techniques in marine civil engineering and construction, is to co-locate with Seawork, which focuses on the same subject. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The M&CCE Expo 2019 will run from 11-13 June 2019 at Mayflower Park, Southampton UK.

Seawork

Mercator is a B2B media company with a 30-year history, serving the marine business with events, magazines and online. It publishes the pan-European commercial marine magazine Maritime Journal, and produces the Seawork exhibition, now in its 22nd year. Situated exclusively in its own dedicated exhibition arena, M&CCE will keep its own brand and identity and will run concurrently with the three days of Seawork.

Andrew Webster, chief executive of Mercator, said, ‘This is great news for visitors and exhibitors to both Seawork and M&CCE, with real synergies between the two. There is a big overlap in content and business for people involved in marine construction, from harbourmasters to consulting engineers to operations managers and anyone in vessel and marine equipment deployment.”

UK, Fareham & Southampton

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Vivendi acquires French publisher Editis

VivendiVivendi has acquired 100% of the share capital of Editis, the second-largest French-language publishing group. The share purchase agreement with the vendor, Spanish group Planeta, was entered into on November 15, 2018, based on an enterprise value of €900 million. The French Competition Authority authorized the transaction unconditionally on January 2, 2019.

Vivendi and Editis share a recognised expertise in the development and management of rights to works of culture and the same passion for managing creativity and talent. This acquisition is a logical step in the building of a large content, media and communications group. It also marks the return of this French publishing powerhouse to a European group with a global reach.

Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Vivendi’s Chief Executive Officer, has taken on the additional role of Chairman of Editis. Pierre Conte has been confirmed as Chief Executive Officer of Editis.

Editis encompasses some fifty prestigious publishing houses (Nathan, Robert Laffont, Julliard, Plon, Belfond, Presses de la Cité, Pocket, Solar, …). With a large portfolio of internationally-acclaimed authors, 4,000 new books published each year and a catalogue of more than 45,000 titles, Editis is active in the fields of fiction, children’s books, non-fiction, graphic and illustrated books, educational & reference books. Editis employs 2,400 people.

France, Paris

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Infopro Digital to acquire B2B publisher DOCUgroup

InfoPro DigitalInfopro Digital group is to enter into the acquisition of DOCUgroup, taking a major step in its international expansion. The acquisition will be financed with additional indebtedness, available cash on hand at the group level and an equity contribution from the shareholders of Infopro Digital group. The majority shareholder of Infopro Digital, alongside management of the group, is TowerBrook. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DOCUgroup is a leader in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in business information for the construction, architecture and real estate industries.

DOCUgroup has two main activities: Project Information, whose flagship brand is IBAU, an online subscription platform that references almost 1 million private and public real estate projects; and Product Information, with leading brands such as Heinze and Baunetz, which are digital platforms that enable architects and planners to access databases and detailed information for over 500,000 products. These platforms attract around 15 million online visits each year.

Infopro Digital also offers services to professionals in the building industry in France, Belgium and the Netherlands through Le Moniteur and Vecteur Plus.

Over 500 employees will join the Infopro Digital group, to bring the total to more than 3,200 people worldwide. DOCUgroup generates a turnover of 67 million EUR, which will allow Infopro Digital to reach a turnover of approximately 440 million EUR once the acquisition is completed.

Christophe Czajka, Executive Chairman of Infopro Digital, said,“With the acquisition of DOCUgroup, we become a truly European BtB and Data company. The share of our turnover generated outside of France increased from 14% to 35% in less than a year. Over 1,300 group employees will be based in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the United States, Hong Kong, and Tunisia.”

Julien Elmaleh, CEO of Infopro Digital, added, “The DOCUgroup DNA fits perfectly with that of Infopro Digital: databases and digital platforms allowing professionals to develop their commercial activity and have detailed and high quality business information. Combined, we will have an unmatched offer for professionals in the building industry”.

France, Ile-de-France & Germany, Munich