M&A Scorecard | October 2008
The overall capital market took a severe blow September 15 when the Dow Jones fell more than 500 points, or 4.42 percent, on news that global investment bank Lehman Bros. filed for bankruptcy and investment firm Merrill Lynch agreed to be purchased by Bank of America for $50 billion. What direct affect that would have on magazine M&A, if any at all, remains to be seen.
Buyer: United Business Media
Seller: Pyramid Research
Sale Price: $8 million
The deal behind the deal: London-based United Business Media acquired market research firm Pyramid Research for $8 million.
UBM planned to integrate Pyramid— which analyzes and forecasts demand for communications and media services, applications and networks—with its own research group, Heavy Reading—an arm of the Light Reading Communications Network, which serves the telecommunications industry and is managed by UBM’s TechWeb group.
Pyramid, which employs about 50, will remain headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Pyramid president and CEO Daniel Schimel will report to Heavy Reading managing director Dennis Mendyk.
Our panel says: “TechWeb’s job will be to invigorate the sales/marketing process [at Pyramid] and probably update the product set. Many buyers are looking for research firms that have mastered the more difficult aspects of the retainer-research business model and can monetize their expertise through complimentary products and services, particularly events.”
Buyer: Schofield Media
Seller: Silverdog Publishing (Health and Safety Monitor)
Sale Price: Estimated less than $5 million
Multiple: 6x est.
The deal behind the deal: Schofield Publishing, a division of international b-to-b publisher Schofield Media, acquired Health and Safety Monitor from England’s Silverdog Publishing.
The acquisition, Schofield’s third in as many years, marks the company’s first property to include newsletter publishing. “Health and safety is a topic that cuts across all the titles we currently publish, and fits well with our portfolio,” Schofield Publishing’s Mike Tulloch said in a statement. “Also, Health and Safety Monitor brings us into the newsletter publishing market, a new area for us but one that I believe offers a lot of further opportunities.”
Schofield Media was founded in 1999 by British entrepreneur Andrew Schofield (then Schofield Publishing). Today, it publishes 16 b-to-b magazines and has offices in London, Boston, Chicago and New York.
Our panel says: “I think this is a very sensible acquisition. Schofield Media has developed a dynamic ad sales focus that has been successful for them. They’ve been looking to expand into this sector, and this seems like a great fit.”
Buyer: Sandow Media
Seller: World Publications (InSync)
Sale Price: $1 million est.
The deal behind the deal: Sandow Media, the publisher that purchased Worth from CurtCo Media earlier this year, has acquired Texas-based World Publications’ InSync, a magazine for luxury watch enthusiasts and collectors. Sandow plans to rebrand the magazine as Watch Journal.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to Sandow CEO Adam I. Sandow, InSync is a “perfect” fit for the company’s portfolio of luxury brands. “The magazine represents a key component of our strategy as we continue to develop significant brands that serve the ultra high-net-worth market with exceptional journalism,” he said.
InSync staffers in New York, Florida, Texas and at its European bureau will remain with the magazine, he said.
In addition to Worth, Sandow Media publishes New Beauty and the Luxe line of magazines.
Our panel says: “This is a small deal, but is a good fit for Sandow Media. It strengthens their niche in the luxury segment.”
Buyer: Skram Media
Seller: GSM Media (Mountain Gazette)
Sale Price: N/A
The deal behind the deal: Skram Media, enthusiast publisher of Urban Climber and Climbing has acquired 42-year-old mountain sports and culture publication Mountain Gazette. Along with the all-stock purchase, Felix Magowan, a founding partner of GSM Media, which purchased Mountain Gazette in 2006, will join Skram Media’s board of directors.
Skram founder Mark Crowther said his search for another title began last year after realizing the infrastructure that came with the purchase of Climbing from Primedia in 2006 could support more products.
Crowther told Folio: that he expects to continue to build up his holdings as a growing mountain sports media company. “When we bought Climbing we quadrupled the size of the company and I never want to do that again on my own, he said. “This is a nice little baby step compared to what we did before, and it keeps us in the game where we could pick up some other titles I’ve been looking at once the market conditions improve.”
Our panel says: “This seems like a logical move for Skram Media in that it builds out its presence in the mountain magazine market. Mountain Gazette is a smaller title, but has had a longish run. It will be interesting to see how Skram plans to grow the publication.”
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Submit M&A related tips and news to associate editor Jason Fell.