Mon, 16 Aug 2021 | BUSINESS SALE
Exponent Private Equity has agreed a deal to sell Dennis Publishing to fellow magazine publisher Future for £300 million. The deal is around a 2.8x multiple of Dennis Publishing’s £104.8 million revenue for 2020, on which it generated adjusted EBITDA of £20 million.
Dennis is the publisher behind a range of specialist publications in sectors including B2B technology, video gaming, IT and wealth. Future is acquiring its titles The Week UK, The Week US, The Week Junior US, The Week Junior UK, Minecraft World, IT Pro, PC Pro, Computer Active, MoneyWeek, Coach, Kiplinger and Science & Nature.
The sale comes amid a period of intense pressure for print media, with physical sales declining as readers increasingly turn to digital media. In June, Dennis began exploring a sale of one of its flagship publications, The Week.
Exponent will retain ownership of four Dennis titles: Viz, Expert Reviews, Cyclist and Fortean Times. The sale represents a considerable return on Exponent’s original investment in Dennis, after it acquired the publisher for around £166 million in 2018.
Dennis Chief Executive James Tye said: "In the three years that the business has been owned by Exponent, Dennis has been on an incredible growth journey, delivering double-digit increases in subscription revenues, a greatly increased US footprint; and significant bottom-line increases. This is a testament to the talented team at Dennis who have helped make all of this happen.”
Tye added: "We look forward to working with the team at Future to continue growing the reach, influence and value of all our key brands and businesses."
The takeover is the latest high-profile acquisition by Future, which acquired price comparison site GoCompare for £594 million in November 2020. The acquisition of Dennis will be funded using its existing debt facilities.
Future Chief Executive Zillah Byng-Thorne said of the acquisition: "I am delighted to announce the acquisition of a high-quality portfolio of Dennis' trusted brands that will accelerate our strategy, enhance our content capabilities and bring additional geographical and vertical revenue diversification, while materially increasing the proportion of recurring revenues across the Group.
"The materially earnings-enhancing acquisition is highly complementary to our longstanding 'US first' mindset and provides an attractive opportunity to scale our recently created 'Wealth' vertical, while diversifying our presence in our 'Knowledge' and 'B2B Pro Technology' verticals.”
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