Beano publisher snaps up Puzzler titles in £85m deal

LONDON - Puzzler Media, the publishing firm behind around 50 puzzle titles, has been bought by Beano and Dandy publisher DC Thompson in an £85m deal.

Puzzler has been acquired by John Leng & Co, an investment subsidiary of DC Thomson, after the Dundee-based publisher was tipped to win the race for the business.

Mel Lewis, managing director of Puzzler Media, said the deal will help the brand with plans to expand into interactive TV, the internet and mobile phones, in a market that has seen a resurgence in recent years through the explosion of interest in Japanese number puzzle Sudoku.

Puzzler said it also plans global launches in India, Russia and the US.

Lewis added: "Our new partnership with DC Thomson offers us an exciting opportunity to continue the successful development of Puzzler Media."

Puzzler Media was founded in 1973 and currently has a 50% market share through titles such as Puzzler Sudoku and Puzzler Collection.

It was acquired in April 2002 by Finnish media firm Sanoma in a £36.7m management buyout deal, in which private equity firm ABN Amro invested £9.6m.

It had been speculated last month that DC Thompson was the frontrunner to buy the firm, although Emap, Future and IPC Media were also tipped to make bids.

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