Emap has realised its ambition to gain a major foothold in the US
with the acquisition of the specialist US publisher, Petersen Companies,
for #720 million.
The Los Angeles-based company publishes 130 enthusiast magazines in the
car, action sports and outdoor sectors, reaching a core target audience
of 18- to 34-year-old men. Emap will use Petersen as a platform from
which to launch its own titles, including FHM, while looking at the
possibility of launching some Petersen titles in the UK.
The US publisher will also supply additional revenue streams through its
magazine brand franchises, including trade shows, licensing and
Kevin Hand, Emap’s group chief executive, said: ’We have been looking at
this market for two years and during that time sifted through 40
Emap Petersen is our base in the US and we would use them for launches,
whether they are in the music field with titles like Mojo, or J-17 in
the teen sector.’
He added that Emap would not carry out acquisitions of this scale in the
foreseeable future, but would continue to look at launches and bolt-on
acquisitions in the US.
Petersen, which was established 50 years ago, has nine publishing groups
which include automotive performance, motor trend, youth, motorcycle,
outdoor, marine, action sport, hi-tech and sport.
Major magazines within its portfolio are Motor Trend, which covers new,
domestic and imported cars and has 1.1 million subscribers; Teen, which
has the largest paid-for circulation of Petersen’s titles with a 1.8
million average sale; and Hot Rod, which was the first title launched by
Petersen and has a paid-for circulation of almost 800,000.
Jim Dunning, president and chief executive of Petersen, will chair the
board of the new division, officially named Emap Petersen. Three Emap
executive directors - Hand, David Grigson and Tom Moloney - will sit
alongside Petersen’s top management team on the board.