GMG/Apax To Merge Emap B2B With Incisive: Report

Incisive Media CEO Tim Weller has been invited to take charge of a new outfit formed from the merger of his company and Emap’s (LSE: EMA) B2B unit, says, citing “banking sources who worked on the (Emap) deal”. Incisive owner Apax and Guardian Media Group announced Friday they were buying the last of Emap’s three divisions – seen as its most lucrative – for around £1 billion. Confirming the anticipated merger of the new acquisition with the Incisive company Apax itself bought for $375 million in September 2006, says the pair will create “a new £2 billion media company” when the deal completes in April, with up to £20 million savings and £550 million turnover expected annually; GMG would have a 30 percent stake.

Incisive properties include Search Engine Watch, The ClickZ Network, Blogs and Social Media Forum,, Gizmodo, The Inquirer and VNUnet, as well as a range of financial and legal publications.

If such a deal at first seems at odds with The Guardian’s ethos, consider that all of Guardian Media Group’s activities, which also include radio stations as well as its own existing B2B division, operate for one reason only – to fund the continuation and freedom of the newspaper’s journalistic endeavours (especially so, given investments needed to go multi-platform). The buy (and the Incisive merger, if it happens) shows that GMG reckons the B2B space is now one of the best from which to pull in the funds necessary to do that. Over the long arc, the group cashed in by getting £675 million from the sale of a 49.9 percent Trader Media Group in March to Apax itself – its ongoing relationship with the private equity house is serving it well, diversifying the portfolio.

Also read a short profile of Weller in Times, here: “Business big shot: Tim Weller