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Incisive Media Sold to Apax for $377m
Parent company of Searchenginewatch.
Brett_Tabke




msg:3097799
 4:32 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

The first shoe was Alan Mecklers [webmasterworld.com], and the second is Danny Sullivans. I guess it makes sense now why Danny wanted out [daggle.com] while the getting out was good and possible. It also makes good sense why Incisive couldn't offer any stake while selling the company.

[business.guardian.co.uk...]
Apax Partners yesterday swooped on Incisive Media, backing a 199m management buyout of the publisher of business titles including Legal Week and Investment Week. While the offer has received the backing of the company's independent directors, major shareholders are calling for a better price.

Apax, which had an initial approach in August rebuffed as too low, pitched its offer at 195p per share. That is a mere 13% premium to Wednesday's closing share price and chairman Mike Masters yesterday admitted it could flush out other bidders. "There could be other offers coming in, [but] at least we have a starting price."

The bid, which could make multi-millionaires of Incisive's chief executive and founder, Tim Weller, and his team, has gained the support of the media firm's second largest shareholder, Caledonia Investments, which holds under 10%. But Incisive's largest shareholder, Standard Life Investments - with 12% - yesterday characterised 195p a share as "a low-ball bid".

[news.independent.co.uk...]

Tim Weller's stake in Incisive Media, the business-to-business publisher he started in 1995, is worth some 11m under a deal announced yesterday to sell the company to the private equity firm Apax Partners for 199m.

[business.timesonline.co.uk...]

Four senior directors at Incisive Media will share more than 18 million after private equity firm Apax agreed to buy the specialist business-to-business publisher they run for 199 million in cash.

Tim Weller, the chief executive with more than 5.3 million shares in Incisive, is worth 10.34 million based on Apax's recommended 195p a share offer.

tipped via Joe Morin [equitymind.blogspot.com].

Reuters Story [today.reuters.co.uk]

Incisive Media: (parent company of Searchenginewatch.com) [incisivemedia.com...]

Apax: [apax.com...]

Sharecast chart: [sharecast.com...]

The part that doesn't make sense - is why no search bloggers found this major news when it happened LAST week? This is the biggest event I have seen missed in the search space in a number of years.

 

rustybrick




msg:3098129
 8:19 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

The part that doesn't make sense - is why no search bloggers found this major news when it happened LAST week? This is the biggest event I have seen missed in the search space in a number of years.

Is it really? I am not too sure this makes much of a difference. Yea, this is about a week old news. Just adds more confusion to the mix.

Brett_Tabke




msg:3098153
 8:33 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I guess folks see it that way too. We are so deep into the conference mind set, that it is big.

lazerzubb




msg:3098472
 2:12 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Saw it last week, found it interesting, moved on to bigger and better things :)

walkman




msg:3098482
 2:25 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

it would be very interesting news to all of us if something similar to what we owed can sell for $tens of millions so don't blame Brett :)

cwnet




msg:3098516
 3:11 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

SOME company is selling SOME part of their business to SOME company for an inflated price and it does not hit mainstream news?

Stupid things happen - no need to go mainstream with niche hick ups!

joeduck




msg:3098641
 6:02 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

These sales bother me somewhat because I'd say that much of the value of SES as conference space and website came from the contributions of editors and the "community" and I think neither of those parties get much more than a smile out of the deal.

In a case like this sale Danny Sullivan was the driving force, and though he said he was paid well it does not appear he'll see anything like the millions to be had by lesser people in the chain of SES's success. I'm not at all convinced that this pattern leads to the best type of company or the best possible biz world.

exposure




msg:3098668
 6:29 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would say yes, this is an important that was 'missed' by the community recently... Yet it was missed (just temporarily, thanks to WebmasterWorld) but only because the two main sites that many of us get our news from ignored the topic.

I feel it's worth pointing out that the search marketing industry has become almost TOO reliant upon sites like SEW and SEroundtable to provide it with unbiased news (even about their own properties) that when such a directly important news item doesn't get covered we should question those sources we rely upon.

Why didn't Danny or Barry inform us about this? What impact does this have upon the SES conferences?

Barry and Danny are still employed by whatever company owns and operates Incisive and thus they are likely being asked not to mention the topic... and I have to believe that they are being subjugated against mentioning the issue at the detriment of the community as a whole that relies upon them for such specifically related information.

I guess maybe Barry/Danny could be confused about the new mix this brings to their own situation, but that doesn't excuse the fact that neither has mentioned it as news.

dannysullivan




msg:3098787
 10:08 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

The sale was mentioned in our search headlines on the SEW Blog on Sept. 22: [blog.searchenginewatch.com...]

It ran again when search headlines were redistributed in SearchDay on Sept 25: [searchenginewatch.com...]

The news was there for anyone who reads our blog or takes SearchDay. I assume Joe's one of those, guessing he saw the headline in SearchDay on the 25th and so did his own post on the 26th. He links over to the Reuters article that was cited in the PaidContent.org story that was in our headlines.

So -- sure, a search blogger found it, me :) And sure, Barry and I reported it via headlines.

As for speculation about what that sale meant in terms of me and SES and departing, I can't really comment much at the moment other than to say I certainly didn't know it was happening. If I have something to say, promise, I'll post on my personal blog at daggle.com.

In terms of the sale, my understanding is that basically, Incisive is being sold to this private company, which in turn is starting a new private company that's going to be run by all the same people. So the main change really seems to be the directors cashing out in part and supposedly getting the advantages of being a private company that can do stuff that apparently public companies find difficult to do. There might be a new name, but it still Incisive, from what I can tell.

dannysullivan




msg:3098791
 10:14 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Also, to go back to these specific point:

> Why didn't Danny or Barry inform us about this?

I hope it's clear we did inform you about it. We didn't do a standalone post because (1) it's unclear how big of news this is to the search space, given that as I said, the company structure seems to be the same, though the name and going private will change and (2) it's frankly difficult for me to write much about a company that I'm also still working for.

> What impact does this have upon the SES conferences?

No idea. Again, that's part of the reason I don't have much more to say on it.

> Barry and Danny are still employed by whatever company owns and operates Incisive and thus they are likely being asked not to mention the topic

Incisive has not given me any instructions on what to post or not post on Search Engine Watch. So I still weigh up everything and try to deal with it as best I can. Again, in this case, the main fact people are mainly focusing on is whether the sale meant Incisive decided not to negotiate better with me or not. That's a good point, but it wasn't one I feel comfortable raising. I'll leave that analysis to others. And when Joe did one such analysis, a few days after we reported the sale of the news, you'll see in our headlines yesterday that I pointed to him.

rustybrick




msg:3098852
 11:25 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Barry and Danny are still employed by whatever company owns and operates Incisive and thus they are likely being asked not to mention the topic

I can also commented why I didn't write this news at the Search Engine Roundtable. Simply because the Search Engine Roundtable only covers news that is discussed at forums. This is the first thread on this news that I found and it was just posted yesterday afternoon. I have now covered the news.

Like Danny, I have no idea what this means. No idea how this specific sale will impact SEW or SES.

Brett_Tabke




msg:3098857
 11:37 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks Danny - Barry. Looks like everyone just didn't realize the implications when we saw it. Joe picked it up off one of the financial newsletters we get.

> No idea how this specific sale will impact SEW or SES.

That sure appears to be the prevailing sentiment, but certainly doesn't mean it is a neutral event. It either means bigger-better things for Serachenginewatch and the conferences, or it means a fading away. Either Apax will see the long term value and pump some fresh attention into it, or the purchase had little to do with Sew/Ses and it could get ignored and forgoetten.

> I feel it's worth pointing out that the search marketing industry
> has become almost TOO reliant upon sites like SEW and SEroundtable

Just the opposite. I have 150 main urls in the RSS watcher. It looks like to find this story - I only needed one this time.

rustybrick




msg:3098879
 12:03 pm on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

All I can say is that this doesn't stop me from doing what I do.

I feel obligated to write about what the search community wants to read. Danny and I discuss the topic list in the AM and throughout the day of the latest stories. We then have to pick and choose which get their own post and which go into headlines and which are trashed completely. Are we perfect, no.

I feel a huge release of stress when making these decisions on SERoundtable, because I believe I can tell how important a topic is from the forum it is in and from the level of participation in that forum thread on that topic. The community makes that decision for me, which I respect and greatly value.

Incisive being sold --- I honestly am still trying to understand what it means for the industry, for the properties, and for me.

I'll keep trying my best to provide unbiased search news and stories.

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