Free magazine publisher Shortlist Media bought by DC Thomson

Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson is to buy 100 per cent of the publisher behind free weekly magazines Shortlist and Stylist, having previously been a long-term investor.

DC Thomson, a family-owned Scottish firm, was a founder investor in Shortlist Media in 2007, alongside a group of financial investors and members of the management team.

In December 2013 Shortlist Media declared a new ownership structure. Minority investors sold their shares and the governance of the company became a 50/50 joint venture with DC Thomson.

Shortlist began with five staff eight years ago and now employs 150.

Shortlist Media chief executive Mike Soutar said: “DC Thomson’s acquisition is an important milestone for our business.

“It marks the moment where we move from a plucky upstart into a long-term growth business with the solid ownership and backing of one of the most revered players in media.

“Until now we have relied upon our own resources to develop and launch new brands and lines – but with DC Thomson’s investment and support we can now accelerate our launch and acquisition plans.”

He added: “I am also very pleased that this new ownership structure means that the senior management team who have been with the business from launch – including my co-founder and strategy director Tim Ewington, Karl Marsden who has recently been promoted from managing director to chief operating officer, editorial director Phil Hilton and creative director Matt Phare – will remain at the heart of the business long into the future.”

DC Thomson director Richard Hall said: “Having been a founder investor and board member since the business began DC Thomson has immense confidence in the Shortlist Media business and its wonderful brands.

“The business is blessed with a dynamic senior management team and we are well aware of the brilliant talent throughout the organisation.

“DC Thomson owns and operates a media business that spans newspapers, magazines, digital platforms and broadcast.

“We have a long heritage in investing in businesses we believe in and Shortlist Media is our latest example of identifying and backing breakthrough ideas from their earliest days.

“We are delighted that the management team have committed to remain with the business, under Mike’s leadership; with our backing, we are confident Shortlist Media will continue to create and grow.”  

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