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Incisive Media’s American Lawyer Media to Become Independent Business

Private equity owner, banks to split trade publisher in two.



By Jason Fell
09/03/2009

B-to-b publisher Incisive Media is being split in two by its private equity owner and a group of banks.

As part of the deal, Apax Partners—which purchased Incisive Media for $453 million in 2006—will take control of U.S.-based American Lawyer Media, making it an independent company from Incisive’s U.K. properties, an Incisive spokesperson told FOLIO:. Operating under the ALM brand, the company will be run by its own management and board of directors, and will carry separate financing.

Apax’s stake in ALM will drop from 71 percent to 51 percent while Royal Bank of Scotland will acquire the remaining 49 percent in a debt-for-equity swap, according to an internal memo from ALM CEO Bill Pollak. The deal effectively cuts ALM’s debt from $450 million to $300 million.

Apax, meanwhile, will inject $15 million in ALM. “Incisive Media in the U.K. will continue under the Incisive brand, headed by Tim Weller, and will retain ownership of the ClickZ/SEW/SES businesses, which will no longer report to ALM management,” Pollak wrote in the memo. “Between now and the end of the year, we will transition the separation of our shared infrastructure and operations from Incisive Media and complete the rebranding of our company as ALM. In addition, we are currently discussing a formal content-sharing agreement with Incisive which will enable us to continue to collaborate with Legal Week and other properties.”

According to the Financial Times, which first reported the restructuring, U.K.-based Incisive breached its banking covenants in December. The report said Incisive’s senior lenders are “closing in” on a debt-for-equity deal that would leave Apax and co-investors Caledonia Investments and Ingenious Media with “negligible” stakes in the U.K. business.

American Lawyer Media, which Incisive bought for $630 million in 2007, includes American Lawyer, the New York Law Journal and Law.com. Last year, after a round of layoffs, ALM dropped the ALM name to operate instead under the Incisive Media brand.

By Jason Fell
09/03/2009







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