Highline Media, corporate parent of National Underwriter, has been acquired–along with Pfingsten Publishing–by Wind Point Partners, a private equity firm. The 2 companies will operate under the corporate umbrella of a newly formed publisher, Summit Business Media.
“We are very pleased to acquire Pfingsten and Highline, which have been fast growing business-to-business information companies,” said William F. Reilly, chairman and CEO of Summit. “Both companies have outstanding management teams with excellent track records and experience. The businesses have major brands and are leading information providers in their respective markets.”
Reilly added that “the combined enterprise has many opportunities for synergy in that Highline has a very strong position in electronic publishing, while Pfingsten has significant experience in trade shows, conferences and seminars. The fact that both are information providers to the insurance industry, for example, is a major plus.”
He said that while “print products remain an important element of our media mix,” they are “currently only a little over 50% of the sales of the combined companies.”
The 2 acquired companies “have similar operating strategies in that they are classic affinity marketing businesses,” said Reilly, who was most recently chairman and CEO of F&W Publications. Prior to that, he was founder, chairman and CEO of Primedia, and before that was president of Macmillan Publishing Company.
James TenBroek, managing director at Wind Point, promised “new product launches and acquisitions. We plan to make Summit a major force in the business-to-business information community.”
Andy Goodenough, president of Highline Media, said that “everyone at Highline is excited to join Bill Reilly, Pfingsten and Wind Point Partners to create a world-class information company. We have long respected Pfingsten’s leading brands in the insurance and mortgage categories.”
He added that “now we can work together to pursue a coordinated strategy…to extend our joint strong positions in insurance and financial services, and in conferences and trade shows.”
Joe Bennett, president of Pfingsten, said he is “pleased to join with Andy Goodenough of Highline to strengthen our market shares in the insurance field, further penetrate the financial services market, and increase our electronic publishing positions.”
He said, “We are very excited to have the benefit of Highline’s experience in electronic publishing, as we see growth opportunities in electronic media products for Pfingsten.” He added that “Andy Goodenough and his team bring cutting-edge skill and experience to the electronic side.”