Hubert Burda Media, the Munich-based technology and media company, has this week announced its 100% acquisition of Immediate Media Co from private equity investor Exponent and Management.
Immediate is the publisher of leading UK triathlon magazine 220 Triathlon. In May 2014, Immediate acquired Future Publishing’s sport and craft titles in a deal valued at £24 million. The 2014 acquisition brought 220 Triathlon together with leading cycling titles such as Cycling Plus, Procycling and Mountain Biking UK.
Hubert Burda Media and Immediate’s former private equity owner Exponent have agreed to not disclose financial details of the latest transaction.
Immediate is billed as the UK’s leading and fastest-growing special interest content and platform company. It is home to some of the UK’s best-loved media brands – including Radio Times, ‘the most profitable magazine media brand in the UK’. Immediate adds that it engages over 19 million passionate consumers each month, offering ‘world-class content and innovative new products and services, including e-commerce and TV shopping’.
Hubert Burda Media (Burda), headquartered in Germany, is a technology and media company with over 540 brands worldwide. A family enterprise with a history spanning over 100 years, Burda combines traditional publishing with digital innovation. Today, the corporation is one of Germany’s largest technology and media companies with an international presence and a global reputation.
Burda has a long-standing track record of owning and managing major magazine titles in all parts of the globe. In Germany, the company holds a successful magazine portfolio in the news, fashion, gardening, lifestyle, food and entertainment-segments. Burda is also an innovative digital player and was reportedly one of the first European media houses to branch out into the digital sphere.
Burda investments, for example, include a minority stake in Nasdaq-listed internet platform Etsy and a majority in the professional network Xing.de, listed in Frankfurt. Burda adds that it was one of the first publishers to recognize the transformative opportunities of the digital media revolution and began to consistently align the company for the digital transformation. With DLD (Digital, Life, Design) Burda has ‘established a global network on innovation, digitalization, science and culture with conferences around the world’.
In the UK, Burda publishes several consumer magazines such as YourHome and Wedding. The company has recently led the funding round of the online marketplace Notonthehighstreet.com. Burda notes that it provides long-term growth equity for fast-growing digital technology and media companies in Europe, the US and Asia and is a partner for visionary entrepreneurs, leveraging the company’s capital, brands and sector expertise, particularly in the areas of business expansion, internationalization and localization.
Immediate was established in 2011 following the merger of a number of media platforms, backed by Exponent Private Equity. Since then, the company has undergone five years of growth driven by a focus on world-class content and a strategy of technology innovation. Already a magazine media leader through its range of specialist brands in the UK, Immediate has also diversified into digital market places and e-commerce, including the UK’s leading digital wedding planning tool hitched.co.uk and TV shopping network JewelleryMaker.
Building on the strengths of the company, the partners will aim to realize further growth by accelerating its transformation. The goal is to build a fully transformed business with a strong digital footprint, diverse revenues and business models and interwoven content and commerce across brands, audiences and platforms.
Paul-Bernhard Kallen, CEO of Hubert Burda Media said “Immediate Media is a great platform for print as well as digital consumer businesses in the UK. The successful management team brings strength and depth across publishing, technology and e-commerce and has built a growing, profitable company with a large and loyal customer base. We believe Burda and Immediate Media match perfectly – with regards to the business segments as well as to the entrepreneurial mindset of both companies.”
Tom Bureau, CEO of Immediate Media Co said “Since we formed Immediate with Exponent in 2011, we have created a dynamic, thriving business. We have grown revenues and profitability substantially, and have invested in people, technology and business models. The business is primed for further growth, and I am happy that we have found a partner that shares our vision for growth and innovation. Burda is an exciting, global business and we are happy to become part of their network of entrepreneurs.”
Immediate Media operates over 75 consumer brands. It sells over 76 million magazines each year and engage 35 million unique users every month. With over 1.3 million active subscribers, its audiences are ‘affluent and loyal to their favourite brands’. And with more than 80 licensed editions globally, the company adds that the universal appeal of its content and brands make it one of the largest licensors of magazine media brands in Europe.
Immediate’s wholly owned brands include Radio Times, olive, Homes & Antiques, hitched, Cycling Plus, JewelleryMaker, Bike Radar, MadeForMums, You&YourWedding and Mollie Makes. It publishes BBC Top Gear, BBC Good Food, and BBC EasyCook on behalf of BBC Worldwide as well as BBC History, BBC Gardeners’ World, BBC Focus and the CBeebies portfolio, under licence. Immediate also publishes Lonely Planet Traveller magazine for LPG Inc.