13 January 2012
Future plc (LSE: FUTR), the international special-interest media group and leading digital publisher, today announces that on 12 January 2012 Future US, Inc., its US subsidiary, sold its Music Division based in New York ("US Music Division") to NewBay Media LLC ("NewBay"), for gross consideration of $3.0 million.
Highlights of the sale include:
The sale of the US Music Division is consistent with the strategy set out at the time of the preliminary results to reduce the scale of exposure to the US. The sale involves the US magazines Guitar World, Revolver and Guitar Aficionado and the related websites together with a licence to operate the Golden Gods Awards show in the US.
The gross consideration is payable as follows: $2.60 million in cash on completion; $0.15 million in cash on 30 September 2012; and $0.25 million in cash in the third calendar quarter of 2012 based on achievement of certain operational targets. In addition, NewBay will assume all subscription liabilities relating to the titles. The net sale proceeds will be used for the continued restructuring of Future US and to reduce the level of bank debt. The sale will be made on a cash- and debt-free basis.
Post completion of the sale, there will be a short transition period during which Future US will continue to support NewBay while NewBay integrates the US Music Division into its portfolio. Once this period is over, Future will market its New York property.
For the year ended 30 September 2011, the revenue and pre-tax loss attributable to the US Music Division was £8.5 million and £3.8 million, respectively. At 30 September 2011, the US Music Division had gross assets of £1.8 million.
Mark Wood, Future's Chief Executive, said:
"The sale represents a big step forward in our strategy to streamline our US business and return it to profitability by 2013. The merger of our mainstream US operations and our UK business is on track, and we are making good progress in reducing costs.
"We continue to accelerate our transition to a digital business model and to create a single global product line, selling our entire range of digital content to high-value audiences in all key markets."
Mark Wood, Chief Executive Tel: 020 7042 4007
Graham Harding, Group Finance Director Tel: 01225 788203
Chris Taylor, Head of Communications Tel: 020 7042 4033/
Charles Palmer/Jon Snowball Tel: 020 7831 3113
NewBay Media LLC:
Anthony Savona, VP/Communications Tel: (212) 378-0450
About Future plc:
Future plc is an international special-interest media group and leading digital publisher, listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). Founded in 1985 with one magazine, today we have operations in the UK, US and Australia creating 200 special-interest publications, apps, websites and events. We hold market-leading positions in Games, Film, Music, Technology, Cycling, Automotive and Crafts. Our biggest-selling products include T3, Total Film, Classic Rock and Official Xbox Magazine. Our websites include gamesradar.com, bikeradar.com, musicradar.com and techradar.com (the UK's number one consumer technology website). Future sells 2.9 million magazines each month; we attract more than 34 million monthly unique visitors to our websites; and we deliver over 100 digital editions and bespoke apps on tablet. Future exports or syndicates publications to 89 countries, making us the UK's number one exporter and licensor of magazine content. Future was named Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year at the Association of Online Publishers Awards 2011.
About NewBay Media LLC:
NewBay Media's market leading brands focus on five vertical markets -- Pro Audio, Broadcast & Video, Music, AV/Consumer Electronics and K-12 Education. NewBay publishes and produces more than 50 publications and show dailies, 50 websites, 30 daily and weekly E-Newsletters, four Expos and more than 50 custom publishing efforts, annually. NewBay reaches more than 8 million readers in print, online, and in person in more than 100 countries. Additional information on NewBay can be found by visiting www.nbmedia.com. NewBay is an affiliate of The Wicks Group of Companies, L.L.C. (www.wicksgroup.com), a New York-based private equity firm.