Future to buy 38 Highbury titles

Future publishing will now buy 38 of Highbury House’s magazines in a
£30m deal, following the collapse of its £100m agreement to buy the
entire company two weeks ago.

The new deal includes titles such
as Fast Car, DJ, Pregnancy and the What range of magazines, but does
not include struggling men’s monthly Front.

Future backed out of
its original plans after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced it
was investigating the deal over fears it would give Future too big a
share of games magazine market.

Under the new agreement, the gaming magazines that brought about the OFT decision will remain with Highbury.

Highbury
now plans to scale back most of its operations and focus on the gaming
magazines along with its photography and computing titles, based in
Bournemouth. The other sections of its business will go back on the
market.

A spokesman for Highbury said: “Following the lapsing of
the [original] offer, the Board has had to consider again its strategic
options. “In considering these options, the Board has been particularly
mindful of the significant degree of uncertainty amongst staff,
Highbury’s most important asset, which the Offer and its subsequent
lapsing has caused, as well as the requirement of its banks to reduce
Group indebtedness as quickly as possible. “This, combined with the
operational drift which had unavoidably resulted during the Offer, has
made it necessary for the Board to take swift action to ensure as much
value as possible is preserved for Highbury’s stakeholders”.

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