Future to acquire TI Media for £140m

Maddie Ballard
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Future is set to acquire magazine and digital publisher TI Media in a £140m deal, expanding its portfolio to more than 220 brands.

The deal is expected to close by spring 2020. It will see Future take on three new specialist verticals in lifestyle (TI brands include Decanter, Country Life, Wallpaper*), women’s interest (Woman’s Weekly, Marie Claire UK) and sport (Golf Monthly, Horse & Hound).

The acquisition will also strengthen several of Future’s core existing verticals, including gaming and entertainment (TI brands include What’s on TV, TV Times), technology (Trusted Reviews) and home interest (Country Life, Homes & Gardens).

Future has proposed a placing of 8,184,906 new ordinary shares to part fund the acquisition from TI Media’s private equity owner Epiris.

Current TI Media chief financial officer Rachel Addison will join Future as chief financial officer. Current Future chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand will become Future’s chief strategy officer.

Chief executive of Future, Zillah Byng-Thorne, said: “Following a record-breaking year of huge organic growth at Future, I am delighted that we are now in a position to announce the proposed acquisition of TI Media.

“This acquisition provides an outstanding opportunity to accelerate Future’s strategy and to bolster its growth levers.

“TI Media’s long-established market-leading brands, industry events, and quality content are an exceptional fit with our business and our strategy.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of bringing our exceptional teams together.”

It was not confirmed whether TI Media chief executive Marcus Rich would remain in position following the acquisition.

UK-based TI Media has used Walstead UK as its sole print supplier since Polestar collapsed three years ago, while William Gibbons prints most of Future’s portfolio.

TI loaned Walstead £10m in 2016 to keep the former Polestar Bicester plant running after Polestar’s collapse. The loan runs until March 2021.

Future has a turnover of £124.6m, while TI Media's is larger at £209.4m. Future expects ROIC (return on invested capital) to exceed WACC (weighted average cost of capital) within the first full year after acquisition.

Future's share price climbed by around 14% in early trading, to 1,548p but had since settled down to 1,460p at the time of writing.

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