Phoenix invests in Capital Economics

Phoenix Equity PartnersPrivate equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners has acquired a controlling stake in independent research company Capital Economics. Phoenix’s investment, which values the business at circa £95m, will be made alongside the existing management team and shareholders. Roger Bootle will retain a significant stake in the business.

Capital Economics is one of the leading independent macro-economic research companies in the world. Their team of more than 60 experienced economists provide award-winning macro-economic, financial markets and sectoral analysis, forecasts and consultancy from offices in London, New York, Toronto, Singapore and Sydney. The business provides research subscriptions, data and events to approximately 1,500 global institutions.

Capital Economics’ existing backer LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, will exit its minority stake. Since their investment in October 2014, the business has grown revenues by 30% to over £22.5m in its latest financial year, launched several new services and opened new offices in New York and Sydney. It has expanded the team by 30% to over 140 employees across its five locations.

The investment by Phoenix will allow Capital Economics to continue to accelerate its growth. Phoenix’s support will enable investments in new services and in technology to enhance and personalise client delivery. A number of potential acquisitions have also been identified.

Chris Neale, Partner at Phoenix, said: ‘Capital Economics is an exceptional business with outstanding economists and staff, and an unrivalled reputation for macro-economic insight. It has grown every year since inception, building up a global base of loyal repeat clients. Demand for high quality, independent research continues to increase and we are excited about the future potential of the business. We look forward to working with Bob and the team to help accelerate growth over the coming years.’

UK, London

Future plc acquires five specialist consumer titles from Haymarket Media Group for £14M

Future plcFuture plc, the global platform for specialist media, is to acquire five specialist consumer titles from Haymarket Media Group – What Hi-Fi?, Stuff, FourFourTwo, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome – for a consideration of up to £14 million, the majority of which is in the form of cash, with the balance in shares. The titles generated revenue of £12 million in the last financial year to June 2017. The consideration shares are subject to lock-up restrictions for three months from the date of issue.

The intended acquisition of popular brand What Hi-Fi? provides an entry into the complementary audio visual market, whilst Stuff complements Future’s existing technology brands. The acquisition of Stuff is conditional on Competition and Markets Authority approval. FourFourTwo will give Future access to the football audience during World Cup Year, whilst Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome provide a strong subscriptions proposition in the outdoor leisure market.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said, “This acquisition is a further demonstration of our strategy to develop evergreen content that connects with communities and further diversifies our revenue streams. These titles are well established brands with strong market positions that expand and enhance our presence in existing verticals and extend our reach into new communities. We have a strong track record of integrating and leveraging acquisitions and we are confident that this deal will be earnings enhancing and drive further growth in operating profitability and cash generation.”

UK, Bath & London

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