FC Business Intelligence targets growth with LDC investment

LDCMid-market private equity investor LDC has backed the management buyout of global events company FC Business Intelligence. The value of the transaction is undisclosed.

FCBI delivers conference and exhibition events with a focus on providing thought leadership in a diverse range of sectors that are facing both challenges and opportunities from technological and strategic innovation including the energy, insurance, pharmaceuticals transportation and travel sectors. Its offering is designed to help senior business professionals stay at the forefront of change through insight sharing and networking with peers.

The investment will enable FCBI to target further organic growth as it plans to increase the scale of its events and expand into new markets, including Asia. The business will also look to make a number of acquisitions both at home and overseas.FC Business Intelligence

With 130 employees based at its head office in Shoreditch, FCBI operates globally with 65 per cent of the company’s annual turnover of £30 million generated in the US, 20 per cent in continental Europe and 10 per cent in the UK.

LDC is backing FCBI’s existing management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Piers Latimer. The investment marks an exit for its original founders.

The deal was led by investment director David Andrews and investment manager Alex Wilby. David Andrews and Rob Schofield will join the board of the business with Tim Trotter joining as Non-Executive Chairman, bringing significant experience of growing PE-backed people businesses internationally. David Gilbertson, former CEO of EMAP and Informa, also joins as a Non-Executive Director, bringing a wealth of industry experience.

Piers Latimer, Chief Executive Officer of FCBI, said, “We have established a worldwide reputation for developing high-quality strategic events that deliver the insights business leaders need to direct their companies and shape their markets. With demand for our services only set to increase, we’re in a great position to accelerate growth. Bringing on board an experienced and well-connected investment partner in LDC felt right at this juncture and we’re excited to be moving forward with their support”.

David Andrews, investment director at LDC in London, added, “Piers and his management team have overseen a remarkable period of growth for FCBI thanks to their focus on content-rich, delegate-led events that deliver real value to more than 9,000 attendees and 1,400 sponsors and exhibitors each year. The opportunity now is for the management team to strengthen and extend this growth and we’re looking forward to supporting them on this journey.”

UK, London

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WPP’s Kantar acquires Enprecis

wppWPP’s wholly-owned operating company Kantar, the data investment management group, has made a follow-on investment in Enprecis Inc., a company which uses a proprietary online platform to collect and analyse data about consumer experience for the automotive industry.

Founded in 2006 and based in Seattle, Enprecis has developed, ‘Continuous Quality Insight’ (CQI), a proprietary online platform to collect and analyse customer experience data for the automotive industry. The platform connects automobile manufacturers to the views of their customers with unprecedented speed and detail, informing improvements to vehicle quality and design, and identifying opportunities to strengthen loyalty. The company’s gross assets in 2012 were US$1.6 million. Enprecis clients are most of the world’s major automotive manufacturers.

Enprecis will be aligned with the automotive practice in TNS, the global market research company that is part of Kantar. It follows the acquisition of  Chinese company, Sinotrust Market Research earlier this year.

UK, London & USA, Seattle, WA

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Haynes Publishing Group reports falls in revenue and profits

Haynes Publishing Group P.L.C., the publisher  of automotive and motorcycle repair manuals, has reported falls in revenue and profit in its results for the year ended 31st May 2013. However, the profits were slightly ahead of market expectations.

Financial highlights

  • Revenue of £27.6 million (2012: £29.8 million)
  • EBITDA of £6.6 million (2012: £7.7 million)
  • Operating profit of £3.8 million (2012: £5.1 million)
  • Profit before tax slightly ahead of market expectations at £3.6 million (2012: £4.7 million)
  • Basic earnings per share of 16.4 pence (2012: 20.0 pence)
  • Final dividend declared of 4.0 pence per share, giving a total dividend of 7.5 pence per share (2012: 15.7 pence)
  • The largely contractual HaynesPro revenue was 13% ahead of 2012
  • Australian revenue 9% ahead of 2012
  • Operating profit to cash conversion ratio of 184% (2012: 170%)
  • Healthy balance sheet with net funds up 27% at £6.1 million (2012: £4.8 million). Net funds after the acquisition of Clymer and Intertec Manuals on 17 September 2013 were c.£2.4 million. In addition there are 1.2 million ordinary shares held in treasury

Business highlights

  • Clymer and Intertec Manuals acquired from Penton Business Media 
  • Successful completion of strategic review (post year-end), resulting in new focus on high margin titles
  • UK automotive and general publishing editorial teams to be merged
  • Embarking on the development of a new, interactive consumer website, available in multiple languages, and accessible on a variety of media devices
  • Continued development of Haynes multimedia digital platforms
  • Digital manual range extended to over 350 titles; print manual range also expanded
  • Completion of rebranding of European professional product range as ‘HaynesPro’ (formerly Vivid), with strong twelve month growth and two new products launched for professional automotive aftermarket
  • Expanded technical team in Romania to further improve digital capabilities
  • Continuing to review new acquisition opportunities

UK, Yeovil, Somerset & Overland Park, KS

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Haynes Publishing Group acquires Clymer and Intertec Manuals

HaynesLogoHaynes Publishing Group P.L.C. , the UK based publisher of automotive and motorcycle repair manuals, has acquired the assets of Clymer and Intertec Manuals from Penton Business Media for $9.25 million (£5.85 million) in a cash and debt deal, with around 60% of the funding for the acquisition coming from internal cash. Clymer is located in Overland Park, Kansas in the United States.

Founded by Floyd Clymer (1895-1970), Motorcycle Hall of Fame’s ‘pioneer in the sport of motorcycling’ Clymer is a publisher of DIY repair manuals for Motorcycle owners. It also has a significant share of the DIY Marine (Inboard and Outboard) Manuals market; publishes a range of DIY manuals for personal watercraft and snowmobiles; and, under the Intertech name, publishes manuals for farm equipment including Tractors, publishing 432 manuals across thousands of models in digital and print. For the financial year ended 31 December 2012, Clymer had net assets of $2.8 million (£1.8 million), unaudited revenue of $4.3 million (£2.7million) and unaudited pre-tax profitability of $1.0 million (£0.633million).

The acquisition will be earnings enhancing and also release significant efficiencies in the areas of print cost, warehousing and distribution, and editorial/origination, with additional digital offerings representing further opportunities for growth.

Commenting on the acquisition, Eric Oakley, Group CEO of Haynes, said “Clymer is a business that we have been interested in for some time and we are delighted that we are now bringing such an iconic name, particularly among motorcycle owners and DIYers, into the Haynes Group.  We see many synergies between our two businesses, in terms of products and values, and we see real opportunities for revitalisation and growth.”

With almost 60% of the funding for the acquisition coming from internal cash, the Group remains financially well placed to continue its pursuit of other new opportunities as they arise.

UK, Yeovil, Somerset & Overland Park, KS

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UBM plc acquires Negocios nos Trilhos, South America’s leading railway industry exhibition

UBM plc has acquired Negocios nos Trilhos, South America’s leading railway industry exhibition, from Grupo Revista Ferroviária on behalf of UBM Live. In 2011 Negocios nos Trilhos generated revenues of approximately £1.6 million.  As at 29 March 2012, the business’ gross assets were £0.7 million.  The acquisition is expected to exceed UBM’s cost of capital criterion in its first full year of ownership.

Now in its fifteenth edition, Negocios nos Trilhos – literally, ‘Business on Rails” – is a cargo and public rail transport tradeshow which is held annually in Sao Paulo.  Last year’s show attracted 180 rail equipment and technology exhibitors from 14 countries and 7,000 railway professionals drawn from both the public and the private sectors. The 2012 event will take place 6-8 November.
The passenger and cargo railway industry in Brazil and other South American countries is expanding rapidly as the region’s economic development advances.  Brazil has also seen accelerated investment in mass transport systems driven by the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.

Negocios nos Trilhos is a complementary fit with UBM Live’s Intermodal transport exhibition in Brazil. The business also overlaps with UBM Global Trade’s US rail industry products.

Simon Foster, Chief Executive Officer of UBM Live said, “We are delighted to have acquired such a well-established and market-leading exhibition in this fast-growing industry. Negocios nos Trilhos will strengthen our position in the transport sector in Brazil and complement UBM’s US-based rail industry product set.”

Uk, London and Brazil, Sao Paulo

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