Wilmington Strengthens U.S. Position With Acquisition
U.K.-based publisher buys FRA, looks to leverage for U.S. growth.
Wilmington plc, a U.K.-based publisher and business information provider, took a step toward improving its market position in the U.S. on Tuesday with the acquisition of Financial Research Associates, the company announced.
The initial purchase price for the company is $13 million, though deferred payments and escalators could raise the total payout to $20.6 million by 2017.
FRA generated $10.5 million in revenue last year with an adjusted profit before interest, amortization and taxation of $2.6 million.
While Wilmington already has a presence in the U.S., FRA’s 80-plus events in the finance and healthcare industries allow for a number of opportunities for collaboration with the company’s lone American title (Compliance Week), as well as its European brands involved in overlapping verticals.
FRA’s CEO, Lori Medlen, and COO, Ellen Wofford, who also founded the company, are staying on.
"FRA is a quality business with excellent market positions supported by an entrepreneurial and ambitious management team. This earnings enhancing acquisition provides Wilmington with new networking opportunities and capabilities within our Finance and Healthcare areas,” says Pedro Ros, Wilmington’s CEO, says in a statement. “We are delighted that Lori, Ellen and the rest of the FRA team are joining Wilmington at this exciting time in our evolution. The acquisition will also strengthen our base in North America as we look to further internationalize our business."
Improving Wilmington’s U.S. foothold has been a priority since Ros took the helm in October 2014.
The move comes after U.K.-based Informa has pioneered a similar path—albeit a much wider and more aggressive one. Informa has acquired a swath of trade shows in a series of markets over the last year, buying Virgo Publishing, Hanley Wood Exhibitions and Dwell on Design from their respective U.S. owners.
Berkery Noyes represented FRA in the transaction.