Posted inBusiness moves

Fund Selector Asia and sister titles sold to the Mark Allen Group in £6.5m deal

The acquisition includes the Asia business but not US-based InvestmentNews.
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Fund Selector Asia and its sister publications International Adviser, Expert Investor, ESG Clarity and Portfolio Adviser have been sold to the Mark Allen Group.

The deal is subject to shareholder approval, which will take place over the coming two weeks.

The £6.5m ($7.89m) acquisition of the UK and Asia assets, which also includes Bonhill Create and Future Flows, was described by the Mark Allen Group as “very significant”.

As previously announced, New York-headquartered sister brand InvestmentNews is being sold separately.

Bonhill group chief executive Patrick Ponsford said he is “pleased the brands are going to such a good home”. Once the acquisition closes, he will take on the role of leading newly created company MA Financial Media, which will house the Bonhill brands, and report to group chief operating officer Jon Benson.

Joining him as directors of MA Financial Media are Gareth Wilde, Bonhill’s chief operating officer and managing director of Asia, and Hannah Lishman, head of commercial finance at Bonhill.

“Being part of one of the UK’s most successful specialist B2B media and events businesses will allow us to develop and enhance our offerings,” Ponsford said. As the finishing touches are added to the deal, he added that it remains “very much business as usual” for the teams and events at Bonhill.

Foothold in Asia

Eponymous founder and executive chairman Mark Allen said: “We are inheriting some fantastic brands, which we aim to develop further with the help of an excellent and professional team of around 50 people globally.

“Wealth management and financial services is an area of considerable interest and will add to the array of sectors in which we operate. The acquisition also gives us a foothold in Singapore and Hong Kong, an area of the world where we have long wanted to have a presence.”

Chief executive Ben Allen added: “This is a very exciting time for the Mark Allen Group, it presents a golden opportunity for us to enter an attractive area and further build the company. Jon and Patrick will make a formidable team and I am really looking forward to working alongside them.”

If approved, this will be the fourth deal the Mark Allen Group has undertaken this financial year. The first of these was Regen, an exhibition, conference and networking event for the regeneration industry based in Liverpool, followed by the acquisition of EMEX, a net zero and energy management expo.

The latest purchase in November 2022 was Sterling Events, another Liverpool-based company, which boasts two exhibitions, Health and Wellbeing at Work and Primary Care and Public Health, to be next held, respectively, at the NEC in Birmingham in March and May.

The Mark Allen Group is the UK’s fastest growing independent media company. Its latest audited accounts up to March 2022 show turnover of £60m, an increase of 37% from the year before; an Ebitda of £13.1m, a rise of 28%; and profits before tax going north to the tune of 54%, from £6.1m to £9.3m.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.