Future sells bike titles to Immediate Media Co

MBUK magazine and the Bikeradar and Cyclingnews websites, and more titles, are sold in £24m deal.
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Future Publishing’s sport and craft titles have been sold to Immediate Media Co. for £24m. Immediate was formed in 2011 by the merger of BBC Magazines and digital platform company Magicalia. (Magicalia was started in 1999 to produce the Bikemagic website). Future’s shareholders were notified about the deal this morning, which is set to complete during the summer, subject to shareholder approval.

Future’s sport portfolio includes Cycling Plus, MBUK, BikeRadar.com, and Cyclingnews.com.

Immediate CEO Tom Bureau said: “Immediate’s strategy is to create the leading special interest content and platform company, and these brands fit with our vision. We are developing our business around leading content brands, highly-engaged specialist communities, and multi-platform commercial models. Backed by Exponent Private Equity, we have a track record of investing in our brands, around content and platforms.”

Future CEO Zillah Byng-Maddick said: “These titles are well managed and very successful parts of Future’s portfolio and will continue to thrive under their new owners. Their disposal will enable Future to focus on our remaining lead verticals with an emphasis on the growing consumer technology market. I’m pleased that as we say goodbye to colleagues, I’m confident they are moving to an excellent home at Immediate.”

Today also sees Future reveal its latest financials and 170 job losses over its UK offices. Immediate has stated it expects approximately 130 staff to transfer.

The news comes after a difficult period for the huge publisher. In March this year share price fell by over 30 per cent. Soon after, then chief financial officer Zillah Byng-Maddick replaced Mark Wood in the CEO role.

Most recently, reports surfaced of Future UK jobs under threat, with a 45-day consultation period beginning two weeks ago.

Read more on the topic here.

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