B2B publisher Metropolis Group has secured a £12m funding package that it said will “strengthen” its balance sheet during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The refinancing deal with Lloyds Bank will also give the group, which runs events such as the World Architecture Festival, the “firepower” to make new acquisitions to “drive growth”, it said.
Metropolis acquired the EMAP titles from Ascential in 2017, including Construction News, Nursing Times and the Architects Journal, to create a portfolio of 40 B2B brands.
Last year it acquired Centaur Media’s financial services division, including Money Marketing and Platforum, and separately acquired PTQ and Digital Refining.
The London-based group’s events business runs 130 face-to-face events, such as the Quality Food Awards and RESI Convention.
Events worldwide have been impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, with a number having been postponed or cancelled outright as people follow advice to stay at home to slow its spread.
Robert Marr, chief executive at Metropolis Group, said: “At a time when the whole UK economy is being shaken by Covid-19, our priority has been to ensure our balance sheet continues to have the strength to withstand the challenges this year.
“By agreeing this refinancing, we have the reassurance that Lloyds Bank remains our supportive partner for the future.
“Following the successful integration of the EMAP and Centaur brands into our group, the new funding package also provides us with the additional firepower in reserve to make further strategic acquisitions to drive growth and add value to our business as and when they come to market.”
Declan Mulcahy, head of technology, media and telecoms for Mid Corporate at Lloyds Bank, added: “Metropolis has always benefited from a management team that builds value in its brands to drive long-term, sustainable growth.
“The team has recognised that now is the right time to work in partnership with us to put in place the facilities to help the group safely navigate the current choppy waters and also be in a position to take advantage of strategic acquisition opportunities in the market.”
Metropolis was founded in 1994 by Jonathan Mills, who remains non-executive chairman. The group has turnover of £60m and employs 550 people globally.