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M&A‌ ‌Report:‌ Marie Claire, HMH Books & Media and Wattpad In‌ ‌the‌ ‌News‌ ‌

M&A‌ ‌Report:‌ Marie Claire, HMH Books & Media and Wattpad In‌ ‌the‌ ‌News‌ ‌

In‌ ‌keeping‌ ‌with‌ ‌our‌ ‌mission‌ ‌to‌ ‌provide‌ ‌comprehensive‌ ‌advertising‌ ‌analysis,‌ ‌MediaRadar‌ ‌puts‌ together‌ ‌a‌ ‌report‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌important‌ ‌mergers‌ ‌and‌ ‌acquisitions‌ ‌news‌ ‌each‌ ‌week.‌ ‌Stay‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ loop,‌ ‌whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌sell‌ ‌advertising‌ ‌space‌ ‌or‌ ‌focus‌ ‌on‌ ‌business‌ ‌development.‌ 

This‌ ‌week, Future Plc acquired international magazine Marie Claire. The publishing industry experienced another step towards major consolidation and technology powerhouse Naver gained platform for writers Wattpad.

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Future Plc Acquired Marie Claire

British media conglomerate Future plc has acquired international monthly magazine Marie Claire (US). 

The title, previously a joint venture between Hearst Magazines and MC International, joins its international sister company Marie Claire UK which Future picked up in 2020, as well as Woman & Home, GoodToKnow, and the newly launched 

In a statement the company said the purchase of the iconic brand bolsters its position in the women’s lifestyle sector in North America in line with its ongoing strategy to establish itself in English speaking markets. 

Notably in 2020 the women’s magazine reached 17.5 million monthly online users and had revenue of $19.1 million, of which digital accounts for half. 

Jean de Boisdeffre, Executive Director of MC International, said: “Future Group’s expertise will create opportunities to leverage and expand Marie Claire into new and exciting business territories.”

News Corporation Purchased HMH Books & Media 

News Corp. has completed its $349 million all-cash acquisition of the Books & Media segment of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH Books & Media). 

As previously announced, the division will be subsequently operated by HarperCollins Publishers, a News Corp. subsidiary. 

The acquisition is a major win for News Corp. as the HMH catalog includes esteemed intellectual property; George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as children’s classics Curious George, The Polar Express, Little Blue Truck and The Little Prince are all under the HMH Books umbrella. 

HarperCollins will also get the global English language rights to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

The acquisition comes as no surprise. 

It has been expected since HarperCollins, and by extension News Corp., lost to Bertelsmann’s Penguin Random House in its $2.175 billion bid to buy Simon & Schuster last November. 

The latest consolidation has left some in the industry concerned that in the near future there may only be two mega-publishers: Penguin Random House and HarperCollins, which is already the second-largest trade publisher in the world.

Naver gained Wattpad

South Korea’s internet conglomerate Naver Corporation announced that it has completed the acquisition of Wattpad in a cash and stock transaction valued at $600 million. 

Founded in 2006 and based in Toronto, Wattpad is an entertainment website and app for writers to publish original stories, aiming to create social communities around stories for both amateur and established writers. 

Naver is a globally recognized technology powerhouse; the conglomerate’s portfolio of search, e-commerce, fintech, communications/social networking, and entertainment services and brands include Smart Stores, N Pay, LINE, BAND, V Live, Snow, and WEBTOON. 

These services and brands attract a global community of more than 90 million users. As part of Naver, Wattpad will be integrated into WEBTOON. Together, the two leading comics, entertainment, and storytelling companies will have a combined monthly audience of more than 166 million people.

In‌ ‌Other‌ ‌News‌ ‌

Other notable events this week include:

  • Cloud-based financial software provider LLC  announced that it is acquiring expense management software maker Divvy in a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $2.5 billion. 
  • U.S.-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice announced that it has agreed to acquire Ireland-based healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare for a total of $3.7 billion in cash.
  • Paper Excellence, a Canadian manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing, writing, and packaging papers, announced that it is acquiring Domtar Corporation for $3 billion in cash. 
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, L Brands, Inc. is said to spin off its once largest brand Victoria’s Secret again, approximately one year after private equity firm Sycamore Partners canceled the acquisition of a 55% controlling stake in the lingerie brand after the Covid-19 pandemic closed many retail stores. 
  • Boston-based synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. announced that it is going public via a merger with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (PSAC).