Companies

Description

Ascential plc, formerly EMAP, is a British business-to-business media business specialising in exhibitions & festivals and information services. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

History

Richard Winfrey purchased the Spalding Guardian in 1887 and later purchased the Lynn News and the Peterborough Advertiser; he also started the North Cambs Echo. He became a Liberal politician and campaigner for agricultural rights and the papers were used to promote his political views in and around Spalding, Boston, Sleaford and Peterborough. During World War II Winfrey's newspaper interests began to be passed over to his son, Richard Pattinson Winfrey (1902–1985). In 1947, under the direction of 'Pat' Winfrey, the family's newspaper titles were consolidated to form the East Midland Allied Press (EMAP): this was achieved by the merger of the Northamptonshire Printing and Publishing Co., the Peterborough Advertiser Co., the West Norfolk and King's Lynn Newspaper Co. and commercial printing sections at Rushden, King's Lynn and Bury St Edmunds.

The magazine division was founded on a hunch when the company's printing presses lay dormant between printing issues of the local papers. The staff gambled that a weekly angling publication would be a hit - and in 1953 Angling Times was born. This was soon joined by another weekly heavyweight when EMAP bought Motor Cycle News from its founder in 1956 for a hundred pounds.[2] EMAP grew significantly in the late 1970s under the guidance of the extremely successful partnership of Sir Robin Miller and David Arculus.[3] In 1996 EMAP agreed to sell its 65 newspaper titles, including the 300-year-old Stamford Mercury, to Johnston Press for £111 million.[4]

Scottish Radio Holdings was acquired by EMAP on 21 June 2005.[5] In 2006, EMAP sold its French division to Italy's Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.[6] On 27 July 2007, EMAP announced that it was undertaking a review of the structure of the group in response to receiving a number of unsolicited proposals to purchase parts of the company.[7] On 12 September 2007, EMAP announced that it had completed the disposal of its Australian consumer magazine division, Emap Australia for approximately £38m to ACP Magazines.[8] On 29 January 2008, EMAP completed the sale of its radio, television and consumer media businesses (EMAP Radio) to German company Bauer for £1.14bn.[9] The remainder of the company was taken over by Eden Bidco Ltd, a company incorporated for the purpose of the acquisition by its owners, the private equity investment group Apax and the Guardian Media Group in late March/early April 2008.[10]

In March 2012, the company announced that it would be renamed Top Right Group, and that its magazines, events and data businesses would be separated into three standalone companies. The EMAP name would continue to be used for the magazines operation, which at the time accounted for around 18 percent of the group's turnover. The database business was renamed 4C Group, and the events unit was renamed I2i Events Group.[11] Then in October 2015 the company announced that the EMAP brand would be scrapped as all its titles move to digital-only format.[12]

In February 2015, Top Right Group sold Media Business Insight (including Broadcast, Shots and Screen International) to Mobeus Equity Partners and Tenzing PE.[13]

In December 2015 Top Right Group rebranded as Ascential.[14] The company was the subject of an £800m initial public offering in February 2016.[15] The Guardian Media Group sold off its shares of Ascential in 2016 and 2017.[16]

Acquisitions and sales

2014 Money 20/20 - Acquired

2015 Retail Net Group - Acquired

2016 One Click Retail - Acquired

2017 RWM - Sold

Clavis Insight - Acquired

MEED - Sold

11 heritage brands - Sold

MediaLink - Acquired

HSJ - Sold

2018

Brand View - Acquired

WARC - Acquired

Flywheel Digital - Acquired

Exhibitions - Sold

Operations

Ascential operates four informational service categories focused on businesses in the digital economy. The four areas are product design, marketing, sales, and built environment and policy.

Product Design

WGSN

Marketing

Cannes Lions
Medialink
WARC
Siberia

Sales

Edge by Ascential
Money 20/20
World Retail Congress
Retail Week
Flywheel

Built Environment and Policy

DeHavilland
Glenigan
Groundsure

Previous publications

Architects' Journal
Architectural Review
BIG!
Business Matters
Car
Computer and Video Games
Commodore User
Construction News
Datacom
Drapers
Eye magazine – Issue numbers 13–25, 1994–1997
Ground Engineering
Health Service Journal
H&V News
Internet Magazine
J-17
Local Government Chronicle
Materials Recycling World
Maximum
Mean Machines
MEED
MEED Projects
New Civil Engineer
Nintendo Official Magazine
Nursing Times
PC Leisure
PC Review
PC User
Pleine Vie
Retail Week
Refrigeration & Air Conditioning (RAC)
Retail Jeweller
Running Fitness
Sega Saturn Magazine
Sinclair User
SKY Magazine
Smash Hits
SPORT
ST Review
The One
The Face
Which Computer?

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