Highbury deal puts Future in UK's fifth place

By Maxine Clayman

Future has completed its acquisition of 38 Highbury House titles and
related businesses, making it the fifth-largest consumer magazine
publisher in the UK.

The deal, agreed for £30.5m, sees Future adding a variety of health,
home entertainment and puzzle publications to its UK portfolio.

These
include Health & Fitness, DVD Review and Puzzle Monthly, with
Future also acquiring Highbury’s five US titles, which incorporate
Women’s Health & Fitness and Pregnancy.

Initially, Future had
agreed to buy Highbury in its entirety, but the deal collapsed after
the Office of Fair Trading raised concerns that Future would have a
monopoly on the games magazine market.

Robert Price, UK managing
director for Future, maintains that the company’s focus is on
specialist interest publishing and believes the magazines and websites
it has acquired will serve to strengthen its position.

Price
reiterated that jobs will be safe for the existing staff and there is
no intention to relocating them to Bath – rather, it is proposed that
there will be one London location, in the West End.

Commenting on
the deal, Price said: “This is a great strategic fit for us, in markets
we know well and can add value to. We are looking to launch at least 10
to 12 magazines next year.”

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