Sport Media Group buys Front publisher for £265,000

The publisher of lads’ mag Front, Flip Media, has been sold to Daily Sport publisher Sport Media Group for £265,000.

SMG announced this morning it will pay £125,000 in cash for the company and has also agreed to repay its debts, which total £140,000.

Front, which is aimed at 18 to 25-year-old men, claims a circulation of around 40,000 and is sold both in the UK and overseas with a £3.50 cover price.

Flip Media also publishes a number of smaller titles, including DVD World, although SMG said today that these made a “small contribution to profits” and “will be reviewed once the acquisition is completed”.

The Sport Media Group chief executive, Andrew Fickling, said the acquisition of Front would allow the group to cross-sell advertising in the lads’ mag and the Sport newspaper titles.

“Our acquisition of Front magazine demonstrates a key part of our strategy – to build a portfolio of complementary titles in order to broaden our readership and take advantage of synergies across content, advertising and production,” he said.

“Front immediately gives the group a strong and focused editorial and advertising team in central London and bolsters our exposure to the 18 to 25-year-old male market with a magazine title that is currently growing in circulation, despite the current difficult general publishing climate.

Sport Media Group said Flip had strong cash flow and no further investment from the group was required. It said a number of “short-term synergies” had been identified which would make the operation more efficient.

Flip Media is the fourth company to own Front since its launch by Cabal Communications in 1998. The title was later sold to the now defunct Highbury House, and then published by SMD Publishing in 2006.

SMD went into administration towards the end of 2006, and after a three-month absence from news-stands, Front returned under the ownership of Flip Media in February 2007.

Flip publishing director Richard Olsen said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to grow the Front brand. We have been building a great title here. Our aim, with the assistance of key members of the Sport team, is to take our titles to the next level.”

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