Centaur Media has decided not to sell off The Lawyer magazine, more than six months after announcing it was open to offers.
The B2B publisher announced in November it planned to sell the monthly magazine along with its financial services titles in a bid to “simplify” its business.
It has since sold weekly newspaper Money Marketing, financial website Mortgage Strategy and three other financial services brands to Metropolis Group for £5m, while engineering titles including The Engineer have been bought by Mark Allen Group in a £2.5m deal.
Centaur’s human resources and travel and meetings brands have also been sold off, raising a total of about £21.75m in cash before costs.
But Centaur has now said it will keep The Lawyer, deciding it was currently a “more attractive option” to keep it as it “offers greater opportunity to create value for shareholders”.
This is despite a number of offers for the magazine, which moved from weekly to monthly publication last year, coming in.
Centaur chairman Colin Jones said: “The board is delighted with Centaur’s transformation in recent months. The disposal programme has created a more focused group that is better placed to deliver value to shareholders.”
According to Centaur Media’s latest accounts for the year ending December 2018, turnover on continuing operations increased by 9 per cent to £70.5m which the company said reflected higher revenues from The Lawyer alongside a number of launches.
The Lawyer saw “expected erosion” in its recruitment advertising revenues but a “strong increase” in subscriptions last year, according to a statement in the accounts, filed with Companies House.
Centaur’s professional services division, including The Lawyer, made up 28 per cent of group revenues and made an adjusted operating profit of £2.3m, up 28 per cent.
The company said this week the sale of its smaller businesses had “simplified” its group structure, enabling it to make “significant cost efficiencies”.
Among the cost savings, with a target of at least £5m to be saved in reduced overheads each year, will be a move from its current office located off Oxford Street to a “more suitable” location in Waterloo later this year.
Alongside The Lawyer, Centaur also owns marketing division Xeim which includes Marketing Week, Fashion and Beauty Monitor, and Foresight News.