Private equity firm Exponent has taken command of Dennis Publishing, a UK-headquartered media stable attracting 50 million readers and selling more than 2.5m magazines a month.
Dennis comes bundled with 30 media brands including The Week, Viz, Auto Express, Den of Geek and IT Pro. This marks Exponent's fourth fund with it previously securing investments in brands like Gorkana, Quorn, Radley London and Wowcher.
But Exponent already has experience in publishing as it owns a stake in the Racing Post and once boasted Top Gear, GoodFood and Radio Times publisher Immediate Media in its portfolio. It sold Immediate Media to Hubert Burda Media in January 2017.
David McGovern, an Exponent exec, said: “We believe that there is a significant opportunity to grow [Dennis’] print and digital platforms, which will allow it to reach and engage even more readers and customers. We look forward to combining their expert knowledge with our own deep experience in consumer media and e-commerce to help further develop Dennis’ strong market positions and build on Felix Dennis’ legacy.”
James Tye, group chief executive of Dennis, added: “I’m thrilled to announce this exciting partnership between Dennis and Exponent. I’m confident that Exponent’s experience in our vibrant industry coupled with Dennis’ talented and experienced team, allied with our world class brands, will prove to be a formidable and unbeatable force in the publishing sector.
"As partners, we share the belief that innovation and ambition are the keys to success and it’s this shared vision that will propel Dennis to its next phase of growth.”
Proceeds of the sale – the value of which hasn't been disclosed but is thought to be in the vicinity of £150m by City AM – will go to the Heart of England Forest (HoEF), the charity founded by former Dennis owner and founder Felix Dennis.