M&A Scorecard | March 2008
Schofield Media, Niche Media, EBITDA Media, Sandow Media Group
Buyer: Schofield Media
Seller: CTQ Media
Sale Price: N/A
The deal behind the deal: Ideal Media, a division of London-based Schofield Media Group, has acquired high-tech b-to-b company CTQ Media, and its iSixSigma subsidiary.
Seattle-based CTQ Media’s products include magazines, Web portals, custom publishing, events and marketing services. The company publishes iSixSigma magazine and produces isixsigma.com.
According to CTQ Media founder Michael Cyger, he expects his brands to “expand in many areas, including online, in print and in person, to better serve customers and to solidify our position as a leader in the management topics of Six Sigma and innovation, as well as our positions in outsourcing and business process management.” The acquisition bumps Schofield Media’s magazine portfolio to 27—11 of which are U.K.-based.
Schofield Media, an international b-to-b media company, was founded in 1999 by British entrepreneur Andrew Schofield as Schofield Publishing. In 2005, the company received funding from private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. That same year, the company acquired Boston-based RedCoat Publishing—including American Executive and American Health Executive magazines—and three titles from VNU. In 2006, it acquired SB Communications, a London-based publisher of medical journals for the diabetic sector.
Our panel says: “Executives who actually practice Six Sigma are completely focused on best practices. Schofield Media has based its business model on selling ads to the supply chain of the companies featured in their magazines. Can they really pitch vendor supported articles to companies focused on reducing waste and forging strong relationships with their supply chain? I just don’t see it.”
Buyer: Niche Media
Seller: DLG Media Holdings
Sale Price: <$5 million
EBITDA Multiple: 7.5x est.
The deal behind the deal: Niche Media founder and CEO Jason Binn has purchased DLG Media Holdings, publisher of lifestyle and fashion magazine Philadelphia Style, and online publications DC Style and ACConfidential.com.
“I am very involved in new media (texting, e-newsletters, the online community) and am consulting for developing other companies’ new media. I sold to further the brand and to concentrate on my consultancy,” explained owner Dana Spain-Smith, who is also the magazine’s COO.
Niche Media Holdings’ portfolio of luxury magazines includes Aspen Peak, Capitol File and Los Angeles Confidential. Philadelphia Style, which already is targeted to upper-income readers, will now reach readers with household incomes of more than $250,000. The magazine will relaunch under Niche Media with its May issue and will maintain its 70,000 circulation.
Our panel says: “They pay very well, and this deal completed their ‘Appalachian Trail’ from Boston to Florida. They’re flanking Metrocorp. [Spain-Smith] was doing pretty well, that’s a pretty high multiple nowadays [for city and regional magazines].”
Buyer: EBITDA Media
Seller: Sustainable Life Media
Sale Price: N/A
The deal behind the deal: In an effort to increase its reach into the sustainable industries market, Los Angeles-based EBITDA Media has acquired a stake in Sustainable Life Media, a b-to-b e-newsletter, online community, research and event company.
EBITDA Media was founded in 2006 by William F. Cobert, a former president and CEO of Canon Communications. Cobert was replaced at Canon by Apprise Media CEO Charlie McCurdy. Apprise acquired Canon in 2005 for $200 million.
EBITDA Media owns Green Media Enterprises, a media company that produced the Green East and Green West expos and conferences. The company is backed by private equity media buyout firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.
Our panel says: “The deal increases EBITDA’s footprint in the sustainable and green business markets. It’s a good and strategic fit for them.”
Buyer: Sandow Media Group
Seller: Worth Magazine
Sale Price: <$10 mil. est.
The deal behind the deal: CurtCo Media has sold Worth to Boca Raton-based Sandow Media. New York-based Worth employees are expected to remain with the publication under the new ownership, the company said in a statement.
Shortly before the deal, as reported by the New York Post, a potential deal in which Elevation Partners would acquire a stake in CurtCo fell through. CurtCo also is selling its Home Entertainment magazine, and its accompanying Web site and database, to the newly formed Mendelsohn Media LLC, a technology and lifestyle publisher.
Sandow Media, which was founded in 2002, publishes titles such as NewBeauty and Luxe.
Our panel says: “[Bill Curtis] couldn’t sell CurtCo in aggregate so it looks like he’s trying a piecemeal approach.”