Weller: VNU deal is next stage in 'aggressive' Incisive strategy

Incisive Media’s purchase of VNU is the next stage in an “aggressive” acquisition strategy set to continue this year, according to its CEO.

Incisive chief executive Tim Weller said the company, which this week acquired VNU Business Publications — home of Accountancy Age, Financial Director and Computing —  would look to further bolster its portfolio through purchases in the UK and abroad.

Weller told Press Gazette: “Now that we are a private company backed by Apax we are concentrating our efforts on a pretty aggressive acquisition strategy. I would hope we would continue to accelerate the company’s growth through acquiring good-quality assets.”

Incisive was bought out by Apax Partners for £199m in December 2006 and then purchased MSM International, publisher of financial titles, in the same month.

Weller said that Incisive was attracted by VNU’s position “at the forefront” of online activity and in particular, its content management system. He added that growth would not just be UK based, nor in its traditional base of financial titles but into marketing and professional services.

The VNU deal boost’s Incisive’s size by a third — with approximately 275 staff added to Incisive’s 700 and bringing in an extra £42m in revenue to its existing £100m.

VNU’s portfolio includes 10 publications, 22 websites and six events together covering b2b IT, special interest computer and business finance.

Weller started Incisive 12 years ago with one print title and 13 staff. Last year, private equity firm 3i bought VNU’s business publications for €320m (£210m) after the Dutch publishing giant was acquired by a private equity consortium for £5bn.

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