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

Anthem Publishing acquires Women’s Running magazine

AnthemAnthem Publishing has acquired the multi-award-winning Women’s Running magazine from Wild Bunch Media. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Women’s Running launched in 2010, and was named Consumer Magazine of the Year 2011 and Consumer Media Brand of the Year 2015 at the PPA Independent Publisher Awards, as well as winning four other industry awards. It’s the UK’s only running title dedicated to helping women enjoy and improve their running. The deal includes the Women’s Running website which has over 90,000 unique users per month, as well as the Facebook community of some 220,000 followers. The purchase does not affect Men’s Running, which remains a Wild Bunch Media brand.

Anthem CEO Jon Bickley said, “We’re delighted to bring Women’s Running on board at Anthem to join our emerging group of women’s wellness brands. Women’s Running is a title I’ve admired for many years for its powerfully strong editorial proposition and the unique relationship it enjoys with its readers and advertisers. We can’t wait to immerse ourselves in this market and bring the same levels of investment and focus to it that have proved successful with our own titles such as Vegan Food & Living and Colouring Heaven.”

UK, Bath & London

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Quartz Sequoia acquires two Prysm events

Quartz Business MediaQuartz Sequoia Events, organiser of Elevate, has acquired the Elite Sports and the sports rehabilitation COPA events from Prysm Group, extending its existing trade event portfolio within the sport, fitness and health sector. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In May 2018 Elite Sports and COPA took place slightly earlier in the year, co-locating with Elevate in preparation for the acquisition. The shows reported an increase in visitors and a combined total of more than 8,000.

Max Quittenton, founder of Elevate, commented: “It’s a testament to the success of Elevate and the incredible support that we have seen by the industry, that we have been able to make this expansion and encompass over 300 exhibitors in our third year. The continued industry growth and enthusiasm to invest and innovate in health and fitness markets within the UK, has enabled us to create a strong community that seeks to promote physical activity for all. Elevate was created to bring together the fitness, healthcare and performance sectors, so this acquisition makes perfect sense.”

Elevate 2019 will continue to focus on the challenge of inactivity through inclusivity, innovation and scientific research. With more emphasis on elite sports, rehabilitation and healthcare; participants in the future can expect to find learnings from the performance sector more accessible and the research and valuable opinions of health experts strongly represented in high-level conference and seminar programmes.

UK, Redhill & Bristol

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YouGov acquires SMG Insight

smg_0YouGov, a market research and data analytics group, has acquired SMG Insight Limited, a global sports research agency. During 2010, YouGov formed a strategic research partnership with SMG Insight to support the agency’s growth and the Company has since held a 20% stake in the business. YouGov is to acquire the remaining 80% stake.

SMG Insight specialises in media measurement and sponsorship evaluation in the sports sector. With operations in the UK, US, UAE, India and Australia, SMG Insight has developed a global network of industry contacts and sponsors including the ATP World Tour, Emirates and the Volvo Ocean Race.

The remaining 80% stake is being acquired from Frank Saez, the founder and Managing Director of SMG Insight, who will continue in his role leading the team of 55 employees.  

As at 31 March 2018, SMG Insight had gross assets of £2.4 million and it generated £1.2 million PBT in the year to 31 March 2018. Cash consideration of £1 million is payable at completion, with a further £1 million payable in 12 months, in addition to deferred consideration reflecting a 4.25x multiple of EBITDA to be paid over a three year period. Total consideration is capped at £21 million.

Stephan Shakespeare, CEO of YouGov, commented: “For the SMG team, this represents a logical and exciting development as they see a strong partner of many years become a strong and committed parent. Frank and his team are leaders in the industry, and this deal represents another positive step in line with our guiding strategy: to align differentiated products and services in a single connected data system and generate new opportunities for growth.”

UK, London

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Hearst UK acquires wellbeing events and watch brands from Telegraph Media Group

Hearst UKPublisher Hearst UK has agreed a deal with Telegraph Events to acquire Be:FIT, the UK’s largest and leading fitness and wellbeing festival for women, Salon QP, the UK’s premier luxury watch fair and QP Magazine, the UK’s leading luxury watch magazine. The deal is part of Hearst UK’s strategic commitment to grow and diversify revenues. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Be:FIT, Salon QP and QP Magazine will join a portfolio of brands and events targeting consumers interested in luxury and health & wellness from titles such as Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE to events such as Esquire Townhouse, Cosmopolitan Self Made and Country Living Fairs.

Victoria Archbold, Managing Director of Events and Sponsorship at Hearst Live, said: “This deal plays to the strengths of our brands and is a perfect fit for our publishing and events business. We are seeing unprecedented growth in experiential events – our attendance levels doubled last year primarily because our consumers are so engaged in our brands and those we choose to work with. From a commercial perspective, we have created successful collaborations with a number of like-minded brands that have delivered a great return on investment. Expanding our events portfolio will enable us to create more of these brand partnership platforms.”

UK, London

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The Social Chain Group acquires The Football Republic from FremantleMedia

Social Chain GroupSocial media marketing agency and media publishing house The Social Chain Group has acquired a network of sport social media channels, The Football Republic, from FremantleMedia. The deal will see TFR’s brands such as The Full Time Devils become a part of Media Chain – The Social Chain Group’s social media publishing house. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition will increase Media Chain’s sport network reach by more than 2.5 million, taking the company’s global sport network to over 17 million followers, adding to its SPORF network. Launched in 2015 by Shotglass Media, the digital arm of FremantleMedia UK, TFR has built a large fan base with three million followers across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Kat Hebden, managing director at Shotglass Media, said, “We launched The Football Republic because we saw a gap in the market for football entertainment content that served a young, digitally savvy audience. We believe Media Chain will provide a great home for these communities to continue to flourish.”

UK, Manchester & London

Nextmedia acquires The Women’s Game website

NextmediaThe Australian publishing company Nextmedia, part of the Forum Media Group, has acquired the female sports coverage website The Women’s Game. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Originally, the site was largely focused on football, but after its relaunch on 1 February 2018, will cover Australian women’s sport across multiple disciplines including football, netball, cricket, AFL and rugby. The target market for The Women’s Game is active players and young athletes who are looking to participate in the professional leagues of women’s sports. It was started by legal professional and football fan Ann Odong in 2008, when she found there was lack of coverage in mainstream media about the W-League and Matildas.

Kevin Airs, digital head of sports at Nextmedia, said, “There has been a huge rise in the professionalisation of women’s team sport, which has corresponded with an equal increase in the standard played, generating far more interest among fans and inspiring more people to get involved themselves. We want to be a part of that and be part of raising the profile of women’s sport, as well as the standard of reporting it.”

Australia, St Leonard’s, NSW & Brisbane, QL