Briefing Media Takes Farmers And Doctors Off UBM’s Hands

B2B publisher UBM is off-loading its UK magazines for farmers and doctors, as it looks to further exit the direct content publishing business in favour of data, marketing and events.

Briefing Media, a budding B2B start-up founded by former Incisive and Nexus executives, is buying the assets, including Farmers Guardian and Pulse, for £10 million, funded by the GCP private equity fund.

  • Medical division (London): 33 staff, Pulse, Practical Commissioning, websites, the NAPC conference and the Mental Health Forum.
  • Agriculture division (Preston): 57 staff, Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer, websites.

The two divisions made £12.1 million in 2011 revenue, UBM said, without disclosing their profitability or otherwise.

In a number of verticals, Briefing Media has ambitions to aggregate online stories from around the web using an automated semantic publishing platform, topped by a few analytical articles of its own. So far, it operates in one vertical, with a rough ‘n ready-looking site about B2B media themselves, and is operating its own conferences and the new British Media Awards.

Briefing Media regards the acquisitions as “a new chapter” for it, but it’s one UBM is glad to be shutting the book on. Together with the recent sales of its French medical publishing business, its UK titles for the pub industry and others, it has now off-loaded much of its classic B2B portfolio for £25 million since January 2011, leaving it focused on data-driven products, large conferences and marketing support services.

Briefing Media’s Rory Brown: “We see great opportunity in specialist business media markets but recognise that our world is evolving & we need to adapt with it.”

Briefing Media’s Neil Thackray: “This acquisition gives us both the scale and market opportunity to accelerate that ambition … This will be the first but not the last acquisition we plan to make.”