Highbury pays £32m for consumer publisher Paragon

LONDON - Highbury House has made its second major acquisition this year as it pays £32m for rival consumer magazine publishing group Paragon Publishing, which owns videogames titles and film magazine Hotdog.

The deal to buy Paragon follows Highbury House's £10m acquisition of Cabal Communications, publisher of the lads' magazine Front and The Real Homes Magazine, in March.

The deal will see Highbury House add magazines including Play, DVD Review, Powerstation and Digital Photography Made Easy to its existing line-up, which includes DJ magazine, What Satellite TV, Gardens Monthly and Fast Car.

Paragon also owns the film magazine Hotdog, which it bought from James Brown's publishing company, I Feel Good. Hotdog was the first magazine IFG launched.

The deal will see Paragon managing director Mark Simpson join the board of Highbury House on completion.

Highbury House said it expected the acquisition to enhance earnings per share in the first full financial year. The acquisition is being paid for mostly by cash, which will be funded by way of new committed bank facilities.

Due to the size of Paragon in relation to Highbury House, the acquisition is conditional subject to shareholders' approval at an extraordinary general meeting of Highbury House.

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