Immediate Media acquires Upper Street Events

Immediate MediaImmediate Media Co, the special interest content and platform company, is to acquire Upper Street Events Ltd, one of the UK’s leading producers of consumer enthusiast events. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Upper Street Events is a specialist producer of over 15 events a year at the heart of the UK’s art & design, craft, cycling, dance and specialist travel scene. The acquisition of Upper Street significantly strengthens Immediate’s strategic audience development capabilities. The alignment of the special interest events, such as craft, with Immediate’s existing portfolio of brands, should create future growth opportunities.

Immediate reaches over 22 million UK consumers monthly across a range of special interest sectors, including food, cycling, parenting, weddings and craft. In the craft sector alone, Immediate reaches four million active crafters every month across its current content platforms.

Immediate Media CEO Tom Bureau said, “The acquisition of Upper Street Events is a further step in Immediate’s multiplatform transformation complementing our strategy of focusing on special interest content and communities. We see significant opportunities for growth and development in the events space, both in the markets Upper Street already operate in and with our portfolio of market-leading brands. This deal enhances our ability to offer our consumers world class content, products, services and experiences, across print, digital and live events.”

UK, London

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US TMA acquires TABEXPO Exhibition & Congress

TMATobacco and nicotine industry data & information provider TMA has agreed to acquire assets of international multi-platform trade publisher and conference producer SpecComm International Inc.. Assets acquired by TMA include the nicotine and tobacco conference, GTNF; the magazines Tobacco Reporter, Vapor Voice and Tobacco Farm Quarterly; and the international trade exposition and congress, TABEXPO. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 1994, TABEXPO grew to strategic importance under the management of British entrepreneur David Pike and the SpecComm events team led by publisher and global event director Elise Rasmussen. With David Pike’s retirement last year, the TABEXPO license was acquired by British businessman Steve Fowler. Mr. Fowler built his pet care business into a 50-store chain before selling it in 2016, and also served as a leading figure in his industry’s trade association. He is keen to bring his trading expertise to this new venture and work with TMA.

Elise Rasmussen, the new TMA Vice President of Sales and Marketing said she was confident that TABEXPO 2019 would be the best TABEXPO event to date, citing the continuity of experience and know-how that the original sales team brings, now backed by TMA and the expertise of Steve Fowler and TEM. She said, “My sales team will provide its in-depth knowledge of our customers, their business needs and objectives, which will continue to benefit from the history and experience of our TMA colleagues”.

USA, Princeton, NJ & Raleigh, NC

Hachette acquires SPCK’s Sheldon Press

Hachette UKHachette UK has acquired Sheldon Press, a specialist medical, mental health and self-help imprint of the Christian knowledge publisher SPCK. It will become part of John Murray Learning. The terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

John Murray Learning will be retaining the Sheldon Press brand and has committed to announcing a full reissue programme plus “ambitious” front-list plans “in the near future”.

Sheldon Press has over 150 titles in print, covering a large range of mental and physical health issues faced by individuals in the developed world. The list includes eight titles on the Reading Well ‘Books on Prescription’ recommended reading list and a number of prize-winning titles at the British Medical Association Book Awards. Among its best known titles are Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong by Tim Cantopher and Curing Arthritis the Drug Free Way by Margaret Hills.

Nick Davies, Managing Director of John Murray Press, said, “We are delighted to welcome the authors of Sheldon Press to Hachette UK. We already have an excellent reputation in mental and physical health publishing thanks to a number of market-leading titles on our John Murray Learning and Jessica Kingsley lists, and this reputation will only be enhanced by this new relationship with Sheldon. We plan to expand the range and scale of our publishing and look forward to taking these important books to new audiences in the months and years ahead.”

UK, London

Bertram Group acquires Education Umbrella in first bolt-on acquisition under new ownership

Bertram BooksThe Bertram Group has acquired Education Umbrella, a leading supplier of books and digital learning resources, in its first strategic bolt-on acquisition under its new ownership. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bristol-based Umbrella Education provides print and digital learning resources to schools around the world. Founded in 2011, the company has launched Education Umbrella Press, a digital publishing platform and technologies including TECbook, an online eBook system which converts books from top educational publishers into digital format and TECvideo, a video-based learning tool.

Chief financial officer of Bertram Group Nicholas Goodwin said: “We are delighted to announce Bertram Group’s strategic acquisition of Education Umbrella, a company which in a short time has grown to become one of the key players in its market. Education Umbrella is an exciting business that with sound financial backing has great potential for future development as part of Bertram Group.”

UK, Norwich & Bristol

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Mark Allen completes deal with Rhinegold

Mark Allen GroupAfter several months’ negotiations, the Mark Allen Group has finalised the acquisition of various Rhinegold assets. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

These assets include: Choir & Organ, International Piano, Classical Music, Teaching Drama and Music Teacher, as well as the annual British Music Yearbook, the annual British Music Education Yearbook and the Music & Drama Expos in London and Manchester.

In a separate deal, MAG has also acquired from DC Thomson the goodwill of Opera Now, which previously was under licence to Rhinegold.

Mark Allen said: “We are pleased to have finally acquired these publications. They will add significantly to our current music portfolio which consists of Gramophone, Jazzwise and Songlines. We have exciting plans to develop these Rhinegold titles.”

UK, London

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JPIMedia acquires Johnston Press Group businesses

Johnston PressJPIMedia, a newly-formed company owned by bondholders of Johnston Press, has acquired the group after the publisher put itself into administration. Johnston Press, which owns papers including the i, The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, had been looking to refinance £220m of debt due to be repaid in June next year.

As part of the transaction, the bondholders have agreed to reduce the level of senior secured debt by £135m (more than 60%), from £220m to £85m, with extended debt maturity to December 2023. Additionally, the bondholders have provided £35m of additional funding for the business.

David King, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Group, becomes Chief Executive of JPIMedia. He said, “The sale of the business to JPIMedia is an important one for the Johnston Press businesses as it ensures that operations can continue as normal, with employees’ rights maintained, suppliers paid, and newspapers printed. We will focus on ensuring the group’s titles continue to publish the high-quality journalism we are known for and which has never been more important. I look forward to working with JPIMedia to assess and implement the opportunities available to us in the future, underpinned by a stronger balance sheet.”

UK, Edinburgh

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Penske Media acquires ARTnews & Art in America

Penske Media CorporationPenske Media Corporation has acquired leading art publications ARTnews and Art in America as part of the overall acquisition of Art Media Holdings LLC, the largest independent art publishing group that also includes The Magazine ANTIQUES and MODERN Magazine. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ARTnews, founded in 1902 and winner of over 40 major journalism awards, is the most highly circulated contemporary art magazine in the world. ARTnews is a resource for leaders of the international art world, with digitally led news coverage from its global correspondents, investigative reports, reviews of exhibitions, and profiles of artists and collectors.

Since its founding in 1913, Art in America provides artists, curators, and collectors in the US and around the world with informed analysis of the world’s most important art movements.

PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske said, “For more than a century ARTnews and Art in America have been leaders in breaking news and commentary on the art world. To welcome these fine publications, whose editorial heritage I have long admired, is not only a remarkable opportunity but also a great honor. This purchase continues PMC’s strategy of investing in businesses with great vertical depth, and we plan to rapidly build upon their editorial foundation while extending their presence across the web, video, and international markets.”

USA, New York, NY

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