Cruise and ferry giant P&O is reviewing the future of Quantum
Publishing, following the sale of Quantum’s parent company, Earl’s Court
Olympia, to the Morris brothers, owners of the Business Design
Quantum, which publishes Press Gazette, Media Week and The Publican
among other titles, was originally offered to bidders as part of P&O’s
Earl’s Court sell-off, but it was not part of the final pounds 183
Given P&O’s avowed intention to focus only on its core cruise, ferry and
port businesses it looks likely that Quantum will now be sold
’It is a good business,’ said P&O director of corporate affairs Peter
Smith. ’And we are now reviewing the options.’ He admitted the company
would listen to offers for the business, but denied that there was any
P&O has a 66 per cent stake in the company, having recently bought out
the 33 per cent share owned by venture capitalist Apax Partners. Emap
and the Quantum management own the remaining 33 per cent.
Haymarket Publishing, owner of Campaign and Campaign Media Business, was
this week linked with the rumours of Quantum’s sale by magazine industry
newsletter TMB Weekly, but P&O has not been approached by Haymarket,
according to sources inside the company.
A management buyout has also been mooted, but this would involve the
management of Quantum raising considerable capital. It seems unlikely
that Emap would want to buy a bigger share in Quantum given that it is
only one-and-a-half years since it sold Press Gazette, Media Week and a
number of other titles to the Croydon publisher.