PC and video game magazine publisher Paragon Publishing is stepping
up its expansion plans after acquiring a clutch of titles from its rival
IDG, including PlayStation Pro and Planet PlayStation.
The managing director Mark Simpson said the Bournemouth-based
publisher’s rapid growth would provide opportunities for sales
Paragon currently has around a dozen sales staff. Five people work
across the IDG titles, but it is not certain that all of them will move
from the company’s base in Macclesfield. ’Obviously we hope as many as
possible will transfer,’ Simpson said. ’The companies have similar
But he stressed: ’Our operation in Bournemouth has been expanding
rapidly so we have a great need for sales people. We’re extremely
bullish about the future.’
Paragon’s titles include Play, PowerStation and DVD Review. Simpson said
sales were ’nearing the pounds 20 million-a-year mark’. With the
acquisition of IDG Media UK, part of the IDG Group, it gains titles
including PlayStation Pro, with a circulation of 60,772 and Planet
PlayStation, which has a circulation of more than 50,000.
Keith Arnott, IDG’s international controller, said the decision to sell
IDG Media UK was taken earlier this year. The company wanted to ’focus
on our core global product lines which include PC Advisor and Mac
Paragon started as a small independent publisher in 1990, quickly
increasing its portfolio of video game, PC and internet titles. In May,
a management buy-in resulted in 3i acquiring a majority stake in the
company, with additional funds raised by Bank of Scotland. Simpson and
the management team hold the remaining equity.
The company’s growth has inspired comparisons with the other West
Country publishing success story, Future. Similarly, Paragon intends to
diversify beyond its core computing titles.
’We have already taken a step beyond that market with the launch of DVD
Review, which is a software rather than a hardware title. We certainly
plan to develop into other areas where there is a large amount of
consumer interest, for instance sport.’