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June 1, 2017

Ascential sells 11 former Emap magazine brands to Metropolis for £23.5m

By Dominic Ponsford

Ascential has sold 11 business media brands which were formerly part of Emap to Croydon based publisher Metropolis for £23.5m.

The titles sold include some of the most famous names in business to business journalism and comprise: Drapers, Nursing Times, Local Government Chronicle, Construction News, New Civil Engineer, Ground Engineering, H&V News/RAC, Retail Jeweller, Materials Recycling World, Architects’ Journal and The Architectural Review.

The move follows the news in January that 13 “Heritage Brands” were being put up for sale by Ascential.

On 19 January, Health Service Journal was sold to Wilmington plc for £19m. The sale process continues for Meed (formerly known as the Middle East Economist Digest).

The 11 titles sold to Metropolis generated revenue of £32.1m in 2016 and profit (EBITDA) of £6.9m. In 2015 their combined profit figure was £8m.

Ascential chief executive Duncan Painter said: “Ascential’s strategy is to focus on its top performing brands to drive sustainable organic growth.”

Ascential was formerly called Top Right Group and was created in 2007 when Guardian Media Group and Apax bought Emap for £1bn.

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Ascential runs the Cannes Lions festival for the branded communications industry, payments and financial services congress Money20/20, fashion trend forecasting service WGSN, environmental risk data business Groundsure and e-commerce analytics provider One Click Retail.

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