Investcorp lines up Financial News in £30m bolt-on acquisition

An Investcorp-backed publishing company has made an offer for UK trade paper Financial News which puts a price on the whole business of about £80m.

Source Media, a publishing business backed by alternative assets manager Investcorp, is in the final stages of negotiations to purchase Financial News, a publishing and events group of eFinancial Group, for around £30 million.

A source close to the deal said the Financial News board is talking to significant shareholders of the privately owned group this week. It needs approval from shareholders representing 75 percent of issued capital to drag along minority shareholders.

The Storey family, former owner of a UK regional newspaper group bought by Johnston Press in May 1999 for £245 million, is the largest shareholder in Financial News after Angus MacDonald, chief executive. MacDonald controls around 25 percent of shares. He acquired the company in 1996, while the Storey family invested in 2000.

Investcorp’s corporate investment arm, according to a management review of its operations, paid $376 million for Source Media, then Thomson Media, in October 2004, investing $159 million in equity. Source Media’s flagship publications include American Banker, National Mortgage News, The Bond Buyer, and Accounting Today.

EFinancial Group publishes Financial News, a weekly newspaper covering the investment banking and securities industry; Financial News Online, a daily website and Private Equity News, a weekly newsletter. Its events business includes awards and conferences for the banking and fund management industries.

The deal with Source Media does not include eFinancialCareers.com, the group’s jobs board, which is also up for sale with a price of about £50 million. Negotiations with Dice, a US jobs website backed by technology private equity firms Quadrangle Group and General Atlantic, are at an advanced stage, according to another source.

He said the board is aiming to conclude both transactions by September. Investcorp and Financial News declined to comment.

The writer of this article has 0.03 percent stake in eFinancial Group.