Future has entered into an agreement with the board of Highbury House Communications to acquire 38 magazine titles, and associated assets, for £30.5m.
The deal includes the purchase of ProCycling and the ProCycling-produced, ASO-sanctioned official Tour de France guyide.
None of the titles being acquired is a games title. Two weeks ago the deal looked to have been scuppered after the Office of Fair Trading reported an earlier buy-out deal to the Competition's Commission. The sticking point would have been Future's dominance of the gaming magazine market. Remove the gaming mags and the deal is back on.
Greg Ingham, CEO of Future, said:
"These are classic special-interest magazines which will be great additions to the Future portfolio. We look forward to welcoming warmly the people who work on these titles to Future. I am delighted that we have managed to reach agreement with the Highbury board to secure a positive outcome for both businesses.
"This deal has several of the attractions of the larger one with Highbury from which we withdrew earlier this month. We have built up considerable knowledge of Highbury's portfolio over the past few months and thus have been able to move swiftly."
The acquisition of these Highbury titles is subject to the approval of Highbury shareholders. Future shareholder approval for the transaction will be sought if required. Such approvals are to be obtained by 30 June 2005.