P&O to review Quantum’s future

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 Centre.

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

Centre.



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

million deal.



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

separately.



’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

urgency.



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.



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