German magazine giant Hubert Burda Media has made a major move into the UK buying Radio Times publisher Immediate Media.
The UK group comprises around 70 magazine titles, has 1,350 staff and claims to sell 76m magazines a year and attract 35m monthly users online.
Other Immediate Media titles include: Olive, BBC Top Gear, BBC Good Food, BBC Focus and a variety of magazines for pre-schoolers tied into the CBeebies TV channel.
Munich-based Hubert Murda Media has 10,000 employees and is active around the world. It currently publishes a handful of specialist titles in the UK including Wedding Flowers and Your Home.
It previously published real-life titles Love It! and Full House! in the UK but sold them in 2012.
Immediate’s most recent annual profit figure is £40m (ebitda).
Immediate Media was formed in 2011 after the BBC sold its magazines division to Exponent Private Equity. It was combined with Magicalia and Origin publishing.
In 2014 Immediate paid £24m for Future Plc’s sport and magazine titles, including Cycling Plus, Simply Knitting and Mollie Makes.
Immediate claims that Radio Times, which has a weekly circulation of 668,000 copies, is the most profitable magazine in the UK.
Hubert Burda Media and Exponent have declined to disclose financial details of the transaction.
Hubert Burda chief executive Paul-Bernhard Kallen said: “Immediate Media is a great platform for print as well as digital consumer businesses in the UK.
“The successful management team brings strength and depth across publishing, technology and e-commerce and has built a growing, profitable company with a large and loyal customer base. We believe Burda and Immediate Media match perfectly – with regards to the business segments as well as to the entrepreneurial mindset of both companies.”
Immediate chief executive Tom Bureau said: “Since we formed Immediate with Exponent in 2011, we have created a dynamic, thriving business. We have grown revenues and profitability substantially, and have invested in people, technology and business models.
“The business is primed for further growth, and I am happy that we have found a partner that shares our vision for growth and innovation. Burda is an exciting, global business and we are happy to become part of their network of entrepreneurs.”
Immediate’s magazine titles:
Andy’s Amazing Adventures
BBC Countryfile Magazine
BBC Easy Cook
BBC Focus Magazine
BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
BBC Good Food
BBC History Magazine
BBC Sky at Night Magazine
BBC Top Gear
BBC Wildlife Magazine
Cardmaking and Papercraft
Cross Stitch Crazy
Cross Stitch Gold
Girl Talk Art
Healthy Food Guide
Homes & Antiques
Lonely Planet Traveller
Love Knitting for Baby
Love Patchwork & Quilting
Match of the Day
Mountain Biking UK
Quick Cards Made Easy
Radio Times Festival
Radio Times Magazine
The World of Cross Stitching
The Yarn Loop
Top Of The Pops
What Mountain Bike
Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine
You & Your Wedding