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February 6, 2012updated 12 Sep 2012 9:23pm

Farmers Guardian and Pulse sold to Media Briefing pair

By Andrew Pugh

Business publisher UBM has sold its agriculture and medical portfolios, including Farmers Guardian and Pulse, for £10m to the founders of the Media Briefing.

The agriculture portfolio, which also includes Dairy Farmer, is based in Preston and employs 57 staff, while the London-based general practitioner portfolio, which includes Practical Commissioning magazine, employs 33 staff.

The deal to acquire the portfolios, which were last year said to have brought in revenues of £12.1, with Media Briefing founders Neil Thackray and Rory Brown is expected to be completed within the next four to six weeks.

Briefing Media received investment from private equity group GCP Capital Partners, and said in a statement that existing website "is firmly part of our plans".

UBM chief executive David Levin said: "I am very pleased we have passed these successful UK magazine titles to a new management team who will provide the focused leadership and investment to ensure their continued success.

'I would like to thank our teams in Preston and in London for their contribution to UBM over the years and wish them and their new management teams well for the future."

"These transactions, together with the previous sales of France Presse, Consultant and other assets bring the total gross consideration from disposals announced since 1 January 2011 to more than £25m.

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'These transactions also mark a further significant step in the transformation of UBM into a set of events and other B2B marketing, communications, and data services businesses serving attractive global communities across a variety of media."

Briefing Media said it will invest in the new titles 'to grow their market position both on and offline", and planned to 'accelerate the portfolio of digital, data-led products and physical events".


Thackray and Brown are set to meet with staff at the titles in the coming weeks.

"This is a big day for us, and something we have been working towards for a long time,'said Brown.

'We see great opportunity in specialist business media markets but recognise that our world is evolving and we need to adapt with it. We look forward to working with the teams on the agriculture and primary healthcare titles as part of our expanded group."

Thackray said: "When we founded Briefing Media we had a vision for creating a vibrant new business to business media company. This acquisition gives us both the scale and market opportunity to accelerate that ambition.

'We are delighted to be acquiring assets with such excellent pedigrees and reputations in important business markets and to be working with GCP Capital Partners. This will be the first but not the last acquisition we plan to make."

In October UBM reported a 9.8 per cent revenue rise and a 16.4 per cent profit hike in the first nine months of 2011.

Last year it sold its entertainment and technology portfolio to independent publisher Intent Media for £2.4m, which included titles such as Mobile Entertainment, Bikebiz and Musical Instrument Professional, Music Week and Pro Sound News Europe.

In March it sold licensed trade title, including The Publican, to rival William Reed in a deal worth around £1.65m, and offloaded its French medical newspaper business for £8.8m.

UBM has retained the Cropworld conference and the Chemist & Druggist magazine and data product portfolio.

In a separate transaction, UBM plc has also sold its Daltons business, which provides a web-based marketplace for the sale and purchase of UK small and medium enterprises, to Innovare Media Limited for an undisclosed sum.

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