IPC in volte-face over stock market flotation

IPC, Britain’s largest magazine publisher, appears to have abandoned plans for a stock market flotation, opting instead for a rapid trade sale.

IPC, Britain’s largest magazine publisher, appears to have

abandoned plans for a stock market flotation, opting instead for a rapid

trade sale.



Cinven, the venture capital fund that backed IPC’s buyout two and a half

years ago, is believed to want to recoup its investment in the company

at a time when new-media operations are eager to obtain content

providers.



Last year IPC’s operating profits dipped for the second year in a row,

dropping by 3.1 per cent to pounds 65.6 million.



The company is reported to be in talks with Telewest and a number of

other possible buyers. A sale figure of up to pounds 1.5 billion has

been mooted.



Cinven is said to have already received a number of inquiries about the

business, with potential bidders including the German media group

Bertelsmann and the French publisher Hachette.



’I have no comment to make on the recent press speculation regarding the

future of IPC Magazines,’ the group chief executive, Sly Bailey,

said.



’This Thursday sees the launch of Nova, our major new fashion brand and

as you can imagine we are fully focused on that.’



Telewest’s interest is thought to reflect the influence of its new chief

executive, Adam Singer who is a personal friend of the IPC chairman,

David Arculus. The two are thought to have discussed a deal.



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