European private equity firm, ABN AMRO Capital, has backed the management of British European Associated Publishers (BEAP) in acquiring the firm from Finnish media group Sanoma Magazines. BEAP is a Surrey-based publisher of puzzle magazines and has a 50 per cent market share in the UK.
Titles published by BEAP include Puzzler and Puzzler Collection, which has a monthly circulation of 206,000. Mel Lewis, managing director of the firm since 1996, will lead the management team at BEAP, which employs 50 people at its Redhill headquarters
The £36.7m deal was backed by ABN AMRO Capital, which provided equity totalling £9.6m. Bank of Scotland provided total banking facilities worth £23.75m. The balance of the deal was made up by a £3m vendor loan and management investment of £0.3m.
The number of MBO transactions in the UK continues to be depressed. KPMG Corporate Finance reported that Q1 deals in the UK were down by 31 per cent, from 36 to 25, and the value of these transactions fell by 44 per cent, from £5.6bn to £3.1bn.
ABN AMRO Capital was advised by CMS Cameron McKenna and KPMG.