Centaur seals 10m deal for Miller Freeman magazines

Centaur Communications, owner of Marketing Week, has bought six magazines, one newsletter, four exhibitions and a number of associated products and Websites from Miller Freeman UK for 10m, in its biggest acquisition so far.

The acquired portfolio comprises Miller Freeman’s industrial and manufacturing group of products and includes well-known title The Engineer, first published in 1856.

Geoff Wilmot, Centaur’s group finance director, says: “The acquisition reflects Centaur’s increased appetite for growth since the company restructured last August and a major new shareholder, Veronis & Suhler, the media specialist US investment bank, came on board.

“We believe we have bought at a good time. The engineering and manufacturing sectors are perceived to be at the bottom of the economic cycle at the moment.

“The portfolio has lacked investment in recent years, but with the strength of its brands, we aim to add significant value to it in the future.”

A team of about 80 staff has been relocated to form a separate division at Centaur. It will be headed by Neil Wood, previously managing director of Miller Freeman Exhibitions.

Miller Freeman, which is owned by United News & Media, has been redirecting its operations into sectors which it believes have global potential. Centaur, which was set up in 1982, has, so far, focused on the UK market.

Other acquired titles and exhibitions are: Design Engineering; What’s New in Industry; Metalworking Production; Control & Instrumentation; Process Engineering; International Auto Industry Newsletter; the C&I Exhibition; the Process Engineering Exhibition; Subcon and Design for Manufacture.

A number of these titles were previously managed by Centaur chairman and chief executive Graham Sherren, when he headed Morgan Grampian (subsequently folded into Miller Freeman) during the Seventies.

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