Exponent Creates Immediate Media Co

UK private equity house Exponent Private Equity has formed a new company following OFT approval of the BBC Magazines deal. Immediate Media Co combines the newly-acquired magazine business from BBC Worldwide with Origin Publishing and Magicalia, Exponent’s existing digital platform and media companies.

PRESS RELEASE

Exponent Private Equity has announced today the creation of Immediate Media Co, a new force in consumer media and publishing. Immediate Media Co combines the newly-acquired magazine business from BBC Worldwide with Origin Publishing and Magicalia, Exponent’s existing digital platform and media company.

The announcement follows regulatory clearance from the Office of Fair Trading of Exponent’s acquisition of BBC magazine titles, including Radio Times.

With an exciting mix of market-leading brands, great talent and technology expertise, Immediate Media Co combines a strong publishing heritage with digital platforms and entrepreneurial flair. Immediate Media Co becomes fully operational on 1 November 2011 and will be led by a highly experienced management team.

Stephen Alexander has been appointed as Chairman, bringing 25 years of senior management experience across the consumer, hospitality and media sectors. Tom Bureau, currently Chief Executive of Magicalia, has been appointed Chief Executive of Immediate Media Co. Tom has a proven track record in the successful leadership of cross-media and online publishing businesses. Peter Phippen, Managing Director of BBC Magazines, will become Deputy Chairman of Immediate Media Co and will play an important role in developing the new business.

From November, Immediate Media Co will publish 34 websites and over 50 magazines, with over 1 million subscribers, a brand reach of 11 million UK consumers:

• Its wholly-owned brands will include Radio Times, olive, Homes & Antiques and special interest titles, including Perfect Wedding, 220 Triathlon, Practical Parenting and Junior;

• It will operate long-term licences for 23 BBC Worldwide titles, including Gardeners’ World Magazine, BBC History and the CBeebies portfolio;

• Its contract publishing deals include Top Gear, Good Food, EasyCook and Lonely Planet magazine, alongside a fast-growing customer publishing business;

• Its digital expertise includes Magicalia’s market-leading consumer websites including MadeForMums.com, Visordown.com, and GolfMagic.com, and it will offer fully-integrated e-commerce and cross-platform advertising opportunities;

• Immediate Media Co’s 750 staff will be based in London and Bristol.

Stephen Alexander, Chairman of Immediate Media Co, said: “With the creation of Immediate Media Co, we are bringing together market-leading magazine titles from BBC Magazines, a dynamic and successful range of special interest publications from Origin and an award-winning digital platform and media business in Magicalia. Immediate Media Co has both a great heritage and a great future and in Tom Bureau we have a CEO with proven cross-media credentials to lead its future development.”

Tom Bureau, Chief Executive of Immediate Media Co, said: “I am very excited to be launching a new, world class media company today. We believe that we have the brands, the technology platforms, and especially the talent to develop a great business. Under Exponent’s ownership, we will invest in our brands, and our staff, to position Immediate Media Co as a powerful and confident force in the UK media industry.”

Under the terms of the deal, staff from BBC Magazines in London and Bristol, Origin Publishing and Magicalia will become part of Immediate Media Co on 1 November 2011.

Immediate Media Co is currently seeking a new head office in west London. London-based staff will move to the new premises in 2012. Staff based at BBC Magazines in Bristol and Origin Publishing will remain at Tower House, Bristol.