Centaur Media Plc agrees sale of travel and meetings exhibitions to Northstar

centaur-logoCentaur, the international provider of business information and specialist consultancy, has entered into a conditional agreement to sell Centaur Media Travel and Meetings Limited, the owner of the Business Travel Show and The Meetings Show, to Northstar Travel Media UK Limited, a leading B2B information and marketing solutions company focused on the global travel and meetings industries. Completion of the disposal is expected to take place on 30 April 2019.

The disposal follows Centaur’s decision last October to explore the divestment of its smaller businesses in order to simplify the Group’s structure and to focus management resources on its leading brands. Centaur announced on 1 April 2019 that it has raised £5m from the sale of its financial services business, which includes brands such as Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy.

Northstar will pay a cash consideration of £9.25m (subject to customary post-completion adjustments) for CTM, which formed part of the Group’s professional services division. Centaur will consider the best use for the sale proceeds following the completion of its divestment review.

Centaur’s professional services division comprises The Lawyer and a portfolio of market leading event brands across three sectors: travel and meetings, human resources and engineering.

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive of Centaur, said, “[This] is another important milestone in Centaur’s ongoing transformation. As we focus on building more robust and stronger recurring revenues, we are reducing Group complexity and overheads that will allow us to deliver efficiencies and improve our operating margins.”

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Centaur’s travel and meetings exhibitions made normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation operating profit of £1.7m (before central overhead allocations), up from £1.6m in 2017, on revenues of £6.4m (2017: £6.1m). At 31 December 2018, the business had gross assets of £1.7m.

UK, London & USA, Secaucus, NJ

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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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Skift acquires Airline Weekly

SkiftTravel industry intelligence and marketing platform Skift has acquired Airline Weekly, including its subscription-based newsletter and related assets. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 2004 by Jay Shabat, Seth Kaplan and Jason Cottrell, the publication provides insight and analysis of the commercial passenger airline industry worldwide.

Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of Skift, said, “Now that we are in our sixth year at Skift, we have been exploring various ways to expand our roots in the travel sector and go deeper into our existing focus areas with more expertise. With Airline Weekly, the Airline Innovation Report, and our global forums, Skift now offers the strongest business coverage of commercial aviation in the world”.

USA, New York, NY & Fort Myers, FL

Discovery Communications Inc. completes acquisition of Scripps Networks interactive to create Discovery, Inc.

Discovery Communications IncDiscovery Communications has completed its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, with the combined company to be officially known as Discovery, Inc.

Scripps Networks Interactive is a leading developer of lifestyle-content for television and the Internet. The company’s brands includes HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and country music network Great American Country.

Scripps shareholders will receive approximately $90 per share, consisting of $65.82 per share in cash and 1.0584 per share in Series C Common shares of Discovery stock valued based on a volume weighted average price (subject to elections and proration), in each case in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement. This includes a cash payment of $2.82 per share in connection with Discovery’s previously announced decision to exercise in full the cash top-up option under the merger agreement.

The acquisition is expected to be accretive to adjusted earnings per share and to free cash flow in the first year after closing, including significant cost synergies. The combination is expected to create a strong economic model with capacity for rapid debt repayment and a clear runway for growth and value creation.

Kenneth W. Lowe, former Chairman, President & CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, will join Discovery’s board of directors, effective immediately.

David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer for Discovery, said, “Today marks another critical milestone for Discovery, as we become a differentiated kind of media company with the most trusted portfolio of family-friendly brands around the globe. As a new global leader in real life entertainment, Discovery will serve loyal and passionate audiences around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains across every screen; deliver new ways for advertisers and distributors to reach highly targeted audiences at scale; and leverage our leadership position to create new value and growth opportunities for all of our stakeholders.”

USA, Silver Spring, MD & Knoxville, TN

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Groupon acquires last-minute travel app Blink

grouponGroupon has acquired last-minute travel app Blink, a travel app dealing in discounted same-day bookings for European hotels. The deal will help bolster Groupon’s Getaways travel business. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are very excited to welcome the Blink team to the Groupon family,” said Aaron Cooper, senior vice president of Groupon Getaways. “The combination of a fantastic mobile app, same-day inventory management for properties and a team that is obsessed with mobile and last-minute travel will help us further expand our travel business as the go-to destination for great deals on great places to stay.”

The Blink app will be rebranded “Blink by Groupon” and will operate separately from the Groupon parent business.

USA, Chicago, IL

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TripAdvisor acquires GateGuru

tripadvisorTripAdvisor has acquired GateGuru, a mobile resource for flight and airport information around the world.  Built on a mix of user-generated content and information from the airports, flyers can view detailed maps and insights on stores, restaurants, amenities and gate locations.  Combined with weather forecasts, estimated security wait times and real-time flight status information, the app aims to take the stress out of flying. The terms of the deal were  not  disclosed.

gateguru

“Flying is often an essential part of a trip and we have continually developed our suite of flights products, from the pricing andavailability search on TripAdvisor, to our award-winning SeatGuru.com, with seat maps and more,” said Steve Kaufer, co-founder and CEO TripAdvisor, Inc.  “GateGuru nicely complements our existing flights products and we look forward to working with the GateGuru team as they continue to manage the GateGuru app and add great functionality to the TripAdvisor mobile experience.”

The GateGuru team will continue to operate out of New York City, and report to Bryan Saltzburg, General Manager New Initiatives and leader of the TripAdvisor Flights product and SeatGuru brand.

USA, Newton, MA & New York, NY

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USA TODAY Travel Media Group acquires Tripology

USA TODAY LOGOUSA TODAY Travel Media Group has acquired Tripology. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Tripology is an interactive travel referral service focused on connecting travelers with experienced travel specialists. Available free to consumers, Tripology utilises proprietary technology to match traveler requests with travel professionals. USA TODAY plans to offer Tripology.com referral services across Gannett media outlets.

“The acquisition of Tripology fits well into our overall growth strategy. The USA TODAY Travel Media Group has been expanding its tripologydigital portfolio of travel news, products and services over the past year. For decades, we’ve provided our audience with helpful and easy to use travel content and now we’re adding more tools to help consumers with their travel experience,” saidJohn Peters , president of USA TODAY Travel Media Group. “Time-starved travelers researching and booking cruises, honeymoons, family reunions, and other complicated travel often require the services of a travel professional and Tripology can match them with a specialist.”

USA, McLean, VA

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