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April 4, 2018

Future buys Music Week publisher Newbay Media in deal worth $13.8m

By Charlotte Tobitt

Future has bought Newbay Media, the B2B publisher of Music Week and other trade titles in the UK and US, in a deal worth $13.8m (£9.7m).

The buyout increases the total number of Future brands to more than 100, with a global reach of more than 120m people, the company said today.

Newbay owned 49 B2B brands in the television, video, entertainment, technology and music sectors.

The brands are mainly in the US where Future said it plans to strengthen its presence with the purchase.

In the UK, Newbay’s B2B portfolio included trade websites Toy News and Bike Biz.

Future said the buyout would bring B2B expertise to its existing consumer titles and enhance its “market leading position” in music publishing, bringing together Music Week, Guitar World and Bass Player with existing titles Classic Rock and Metal Hammer.

Future bought Newbay for an initial $12.25m (£8.62) in cash and  $1.55m (£1.09m) shares, with a potential added sum of $5.60m (£3.94m) in January 2019 depending on performance.

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Zillah Byng-Thorne, chief executive of Future, said: “Newbay is clearly aligned with Future in its mission to create content that connects, with market leading titles.

“This acquisition strengthens our presence in the US, and together with our recent UK acquisition expands our market leadership in music and consumer electronics.

“Newbay’s B2B titles, including those in audio visual and television broadcasting, will further diversify our revenue streams whilst bringing additional valuable B2B experience to complement Future’s B2C businesses.

“We have a proven track record of acquisition and successful integration. This deal will be earnings enhancing and drive further organic growth in revenue and profitability in the first full year.”

Steve Palm, president and chief executive of Newbay, said: “This combination will result in new and better opportunities for both Newbay and Future partners to expand reach and depth of customer interactions throughout the buyer’s journey.

“Delivering data-driven brand and product awareness, thought leadership and demand for our partners will only be enhanced.

“I am proud of the many accomplishments made by the Newbay team over the last few years in the areas of events, marketing services and digital content, and I am equally excited to work alongside my new colleagues at Future to further grow our ability to delight our millions of users and thousands of partners.”

Last month Future announced it was buying five specialist consumer titles – Stuff, What Hi-Fi?, Four Four Two, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome – from Haymarket Media Group in a deal worth £14m.

The move is subject to approval from the UK’s competition watchdog.

Future’s existing brands include Total Film, PC Gamer, Edge and SFX. It bought back music magazines Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog following the demise of owners Team Rock in late 2016.

The publisher had previously sold them to Team Rock for £10.2m in 2013.

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