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  1. Media Business
June 27, 2024

Health Service Journal sold by Wilmington to private equity firm in £26m deal

HSJ has been owned by Wilmington since 2017.

By Charlotte Tobitt

Health Service Journal will move under private equity ownership following a sale by owner Wilmington.

B2B information and data provider Wilmington has sold its UK healthcare business, which includes HSJ, to Inspirit Franklin Holdings Ltd, which is ultimately owned by funds managed by London-based private equity investment firm Inspirit Capital.

The deal, which also includes life sciences technology company Interactive Medica, initially comprises £21.3m (of which about £4.8m is in cash with the rest through secured loan notes) and will be increased by £5.1m through additional loan notes if the business meets “certain EBITDA targets” for the financial year ending 30 June 2025.

The healthcare business had gross assets of £34.1m and reported a profit before tax of £2.5m in the year to 30 June 2023.

HSJ has been under the umbrella of Wilmington (also a former owner of Press Gazette) since 2017 when it bought the brand from Ascential plc (formerly Emap) after a 20-year ownership.

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Wilmington said at the time it “significantly strengthens” its presence in the UK healthcare market, which it is now divesting from entirely. Other parts of the healthcare business have been closed down since then – for example, On Medica, a member-only website for doctors, while Binley’s merged into HSJ.

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Wilmington also sold off its French healthcare business APM, which owns the international newswire APM Health Europe, in April for €26m (around £22m).

The divestments leave Wilmington as a “high margin, pure-play platform, focusing on governance, risk and compliance, providing intelligence, data, and training directly to customers who themselves operate in regulated markets”, Mark Milner, its chief executive, said. Wilmington’s main continuing B2B media brand is Compliance Week.

HSJ journalists have repeatedly been recognised for their work: deputy editor Dave West won the Health and Life Sciences Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2021 while Lawrence Dunhill and Shaun Lintern won the Specialist Journalism prize in 2020 and 2016 respectively.

[Read more: ‘Journalism has risen to the challenge’ – HSJ editor Alastair McLellan on covering coronavirus]

Lintern, who is now health editor at The Sunday Times, said today of HSJ’s new owners: “I hope they continue to invest in its excellent journalism.”

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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