Felix Dennis is to take full control of James Brown’s company I Feel Good, which has accepted his £5.1m bid.
Dennis, who already held a stake in the company, made the approach via his subsidiary group Choice Publishing. The IFG portfolio includes Jack, Fortean Times, Bizarre and Viz.
Alistair Ramsay, managing director of Dennis Publishing in the UK, said there will be no job losses in editorial and the company was in the process of reviewing the options as far as IFG’s offices are concerned. One option to reduce costs, he said, would be to move the IFG staff and Jack magazine into the Dennis offices alongside Maxim. Another option would be to move Maxim into IFG where there is room and set up a separate male consumer division. “Basically we want the staff, we think they’re a talented bunch,” he said. “Ruthless business logic would be to stick them in here but it might be that creative and cultural preferences win the day.”
Ramsay said IFG ran a tight ship, but Dennis would be able to help reduce print and paper costs and invest in more promotional activity to attract more readers to Jack outside London. “It’s not a case of them drinking Darjeeling and us PG Tips. The reality is we’d like Jack to sell a few more copies. It’s incredibly well known within media-centric London, but it is not well known with the punters in places like Nottingham and Birmingham.”
Ramsay is hoping to repeat the success of Dennis’s car magazine AutoExpress, which sold 40,000 when Dennis acquired it. “We relaunched it and it now sells 93,000 copies a week and we didn’t know the car market.”
There is also a possibility Brown may be given a wider editorial role at Dennis, with involvement in other titles such as Maxim and Men’s Health.
By Ruth Addicott