Future acquires Music Week publisher for £9.7m in second takeover in two weeks

Acquisitive Bath media group Future  has hit the takeover trail for the second time in two weeks, snapping up US-based information and events business Newbay Media, the publisher behind Music Week magazine.

Future, which recently bought five titles from rival publisher Haymarket, including the world’s biggest football magazine FourFourTwo, is paying $12.25m (£8.62m) in cash and $1.55m in shares for Newbay.

Up to $5.60m could also be paid next January depending on the performance of the acquired business.

Newbay’s information and events business operates in three key markets – television & video, entertainment & educational technology and music.

Its market-leading brands also include Twice and Broadcasting & Cable. Last year it generated earnings of $4.2m.

Future, whose existing titles include Total Film, PC Gamer and Edge, said the acquisition would expand its reach into the US market as well as enhancing its market-leading position in music and consumer electronics. The deal increases the total number of Future brands to more than 100, with a global reach of more than 120m people, the company said.

Future chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne said: “Newbay is clearly aligned with Future in its mission to create content that connects, with market leading titles.

“This acquisition strengthens our presence in the US, and together with our recent UK acquisition expands our market leadership in music and consumer electronics.

“Newbay’s B2B titles, including those in audio visual and television broadcasting, will further diversify our revenue streams whilst bringing additional valuable B2B experience to complement Future’s B2C businesses.

“We have a proven track record of acquisition and successful integration. This deal will be earnings enhancing and drive further organic growth in revenue and profitability in the first full year.” 

The move is subject to approval from the competition watchdog. Future is paying up to £14m for last month’s Haymarket deal, which included What Hi-Fi?, Stuff, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome as well as FourFourTwo. 

Future has undergone a major root-and-branch restructuring lasting several years, including scores of jobs losses at its Bath headquarters along with the disposal and acquisition of titles.

Acquisitions have included Team Rock, which it bought for £800,000 and brought titles such as Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog into its portfolio, along with Imagine Publishing for £14.2m, which added 18 periodical magazines and 300 bookazines across the knowledge, history, science, games, tech and creative vertical.

It also paid £32m for Centaur Media’s home interest division adding the three key brands of Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living and Real Homes.


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