Future US, Inc., the San Francisco-based subsidiary of Future plc (www.futureplc.com), has sold its US Music Division, including Guitar World, Revolver and Guitar Aficionado and the related web sites and events, to NewBay Media LLC (“NewBay”) (www.nbmedia.com). The sale of the US Music Division is consistent with Future plc’s strategy to reduce its scale of exposure to the US, which it set out during the release of its preliminary financial results.
The acquisition establishes NewBay Media as the world’s leading publisher of guitar magazines, digital media, and events. Reaching over five million music and audio professionals and enthusiasts every month, NewBay’s expanded network now offers unsurpassed reach and effectiveness for its advertisers and partners.
Guitar World is the largest guitar magazine in the world. It features artist interviews, gear reviews, and guitar news, as well as lessons and transcriptions in all popular genres. Revolver is the premiere heavy metal rock magazine with in-depth coverage of trend-setting artists, bands, and the heavy metal lifestyle. Guitar Aficionado, now in its third year, is the first magazine to celebrate the luxury lifestyle using the guitar as the common passion point. The annual Golden Gods Awards, Rock & Roll Roast, and a growing portfolio of Guitar Aficionado events will now be produced by NewBay.
Mark Wood, CEO Future plc, said, “Guitar World, Revolver and Guitar Aficionado are outstanding magazines, which have made a tremendous contribution to Future’s US business. NewBay Media, with its strong market position and passion for music, is now the perfect home for these superb brands.”
Mr. Wood continued, “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.”
“These titles, and the talented team behind them, represent the pinnacle of guitar enthusiast publishing, and we are thrilled to welcome them into the NewBay family,” stated Steve Palm, CEO, NewBay Media. “This acquisition furthers our goal to offer our readers and advertisers unparalleled depth and breadth within the music and pro audio communities.”
“The markets we serve are diverse and deep,” added Palm, “as are the reach and editorial missions of all of our music brands. With only 2% overlap in circulation and distinctly independent editorial missions, we intend to continue to publish each of our existing and acquired magazines.”
This marks the fifth major acquisition of brands by NewBay in as many years, adding select assets from United Business Media’s CMP Entertainment Media division in September 2006, from IMAS in July 2007, from Reed Business Information-US in December 2009, and from Penton in February 2011. All of the previously acquired titles continue to thrive as part of the NewBay Media portfolio.
JEGI CLARITY (www.jegiclarity.com), a New York-based independent investment bank for the media, information, marketing services, and technology sectors, represented Future plc in this transaction and acted as its exclusive financial advisor.