Money Week magazine sold to Financial News

Partners: Financial Week's MacDonald, left, and Money Week's Connell

Money Week has been sold to Financial News, whose chief executive Angus MacDonald is predicting he will turn the loss-maker into a profitable magazine by the end of 2003.

The financial publisher will have a controlling interest in Money Week, which was launched in 2000 by Jon Connell, who will remain a significant shareholder and editor-in-chief.

His editorial team, with editor Merryn Somerset Webb, will move from their present base north of Oxford Street, London, to the same City street that houses the Financial News newspaper.

A new commercial team will be put in place, just as MacDonald did for Financial News when he rescued the weekly in the mid-Nineties.

"Our strength is to transform losses into profits," said MacDonald. "In the past five years we have taken Financial News from a loss-making situation to a hugely successful, profitable and well-established industry leader. We will do the same with Money Week and expect it to become profitable by the end of next year."

Money Week has 12,000 subscribers and an ABC audit of paid-for and free copies of 21,000. Its annual subscription income is almost £1m.

MacDonald, who told Press Gazette in May that he was looking for acquisitions, believes Money Week will be good for his company. "We have institutional investors; now we have private investors," he said.

Buying in such a dire economic market has advantages and disadvantages, he added. "The advantage is that you can buy a product like this at the right price at the right time but the disadvantage is you don't get much money in for a while. But I am prepared to wait. It's all about timing."

The deal, involving a substantial refinancing of Money Week, was completed within a month and gives Financial News most of the equity, with the rest remaining with Connell and other private investors. Dennis Publishing now owns Connell's magazine The Week, but was not interested in producing a financial publication, said MacDonald.

He said that since its launch in 2000 MoneyWeek had built an excellent reputation for editorial quality and he believes it has huge potential for growth among its core readers - private individuals, financial professionals and ex-pats, who use the online version. "It will fit very well with our philosophy of providing the highest-quality editorial in financial publishing," he said.

By Jean Morgan

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