Highbury bought by Future in £31.6m deal

Magazine publisher Highbury House is to be bought by Future for £31.6 million, following an approach two weeks ago.

Future said the deal will make it the
third-largest consumer magazine publisher in the UK, and the
second-largest publisher in the special interest sector.
There are currently some 1,000 staff at Highbury and Future will take them on under their existing job conditions, once
the £12.5 million sale of Highbury’s Bcom business titles,
announced last week, has gone ahead.
Future has already announced plans to rationalise
Highbury’s London properties, possibly down to one central site. Future
is currently based in Bath and publishes titles such as Metal Hammer,
PC Answers and Mountain Biking UK.
Highbury currently has debts of £64m, and its portfolio of magazines includes Home, Front and Pregnancy.
Future chief executive Greg Ingham said: “Highbury is a business that we know well and have followed for some time.
We consider that it represents an opportunity to acquire a significant asset at a fair price.
“Whilst the business has faced some challenges in
recent times, we are confident that we can integrate the titles and
teams, and improve the financial performance and enhance shareholder
Highbury chief executive Mark Simpson said: “I am confident the offer will be welcomed by Highbury stakeholders.
In particular, our employees should benefit from the enhanced career opportunities that a larger, more stable group can offer.”
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