Haymarket's Stuff, What Hi-Fi? and Four Four Two magazines to be sold to Future in £14m deal

Future Publishing is buying five specialist titles from Haymarket Media Group, including Stuff, What Hi-Fi? and Four Four Two in a deal worth £14m.

Also included in the deal are Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome. Once completed, it  will boost the total number of titles published by Future to about 70.

Stuff magazine sits neatly alongside Future’s existing portfolio of technology brands, which include T3 and Techradar magazines, but is conditional on approval from the UK’s competition watchdog,

What Hi-Fi? provides Future with an “entry into the complementary audio visual market”, according to a spokesperson.

They added: “These brands will present Future with the opportunity to continue its strategy of organic growth in line with its content monetisation strategy.”

Four Four Two is Future’s first foray into the football market – it currently serves shooting and archery audiences – and comes as the World Cup is due to take place in Russia later this year.

Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome “provide a strong subscriptions proposition in the outdoor leisure market” said a Future spokesperson.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, chief executive of Future, said: “This acquisition is a further demonstration of our strategy to develop evergreen content that connects with communities and further diversifies our revenue streams.

“These titles are well established brands with strong market positions that expand and enhance our presence in existing verticals and extend our reach into new communities.

“We have a track record in integrating and leveraging acquisitions and we are confident that this deal will be earnings enhancing and drive further growth in operating profitability and cash generation.”

Chief executive Kevin Costello said: “These world-class brands engage, inform and entertain millions of passionate enthusiasts. They – and their teams – have been part of the Haymarket story for many years.

“But as our strategic focus has evolved it’s become clear that they needed a new home where they can thrive and achieve their real potential. I’m confident Future is that home.”

Costello said Haymarket’s growth plan was “increasingly focused around several clear investment themes”.

“Firstly, building out our peerless position in consumer motoring media, to develop a strong ecommerce offer for the millions of new and used car buyers loyal to our iconic brands What Car?, Autocar and Pistonheads”.

“And secondly, driving growth across our UK and international B2B portfolio – through innovative paid content, live and digital transactional models – as well as developing our client-facing content marketing agency.

“I’m pleased to say that we’re seeing growing momentum in all these areas.”

Future’s brands include Total Film, PC Gamer, Edge and SFX. The publisher bought back music magazines Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog following the demise of owners Team Rock in late 2016.

The publisher had previously sold them to Team Rock for £10.2m in 2013.

Haymarket continues to publish more than 60 titles, including Campaign, PR Week and What Car? magazines.

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