NUCO Board Approves Sale Of Company To Highline Media

The board of directors of The National Underwriter Company (“NUCO”) has approved a definitive merger agreement whereby NUCO would be acquired by Highline Media, LLC, subject to the approval of NUCOs ESOP participants.

Highline is a new company formed by Spire Capital Partners, L.P., and headed by Andrew L. Goodenough, its president and CEO. Spire is a $260 million private equity fund based in New York with financial interests in a number of media companies.

Highline plans to use National Underwriter as a base from which to build a multi-market, multi-product business-to-business publishing and related media company, including a combination of magazine, newsletter, conference, trade show, Web site and data assets, delivered in print, electronic and live event form.

Highline intends to acquire and launch publishing assets in the financial services, insurance and real estate fields utilizing the strengths of Spires media contacts and financial capital, the experience of Goodenough, and the foundation and people of NUCO.

Goodenough has 25 years in publishing, and most recently served as president of the Financial Publishing and Conferences Group at Thomson, with annual revenues of $75 million. The Financial Publishing and Conferences Group included American Banker, US Banker, Bank Technology News, National Mortgage News, Credit Union Journal, Credit Card Management and Insurance Networking, related conference and exposition events, Web sites, directories and data products.

“I am very pleased to see this transaction come about, and what it means for National Underwriter employees going forward,” said David R. Luppert, NUCOs CEO. “The new owners and management of NUCO are in a position to grow the business significantly and expand opportunities for employees in the years to come.”

Goodenough said, “The opportunity to own a commanding position in the insurance industry is a wonderful one for Highline. NUCOs brands are highly respected in the marketplace, with a strong mix of subscription- and advertising-based revenues, and the insurance market seeks the advice and counsel of NUCOs people constantly. We look forward to working with the NUCO team to build a strong financial services-oriented information enterprise.”

It is anticipated that the transaction will close within 30 days. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

NUCO, formed in 1897, is the leading publishing and information services business focused on the insurance industry. Besides its two weekly newsmagazines for the life/health and property/casualty sectors of the insurance business, the company also publishes Claims, Tech Decisions, and Florida Underwriter. NUCO also publishes Tax Facts and sponsors a number of conferences.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, September 8, 2003. Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.