Summit Business Media L.L.C.–owner of Highline Media, which publishes National Underwriter magazine and the NU Online News Service–has signed an agreement to acquire Wicks Business Information, a leading media company serving financial services and legal professionals.
Summit is filing for Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust approval, and it expects to consummate the transaction by the end of June. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
WBI publishes Investment Advisor, Credit Union Times, Inside Counsel and Treasury & Risk magazines, as well as various Web sites, custom publishing projects and an array of live events.
Its Executive Enterprises seminar unit produces more than 100 courses each year, serving the specialized continuing education and training needs of accountants, lawyers and tax professionals. A summary of WBI’s products can be found at Document Link
The WBI business will join Summit’s Highline unit, headed by Andrew L. Goodenough, president of Highline, who led the acquisition of The National Underwriter Company in 2003.
“This acquisition represents a major expansion of our business-to-business media franchise in financial services, including investment advisory and credit unions, as well as corporate treasury and legal functions, and complements our existing strong presence in insurance markets through our Highline Media and SB Media operating units,” says William F. Reilly, chairman and chief executive officer of Summit Business Media.
“These four magazine titles are all number one or number two in strongly defined segments, and their print presence is supported and extended by well-developed custom publishing, online and event properties,” Reilly says.
“The addition of the EEI Conferences business also gives Summit a new channel to address the continuing education needs of managers in corporate accounting and reporting, taxation, banking, lending, finance and law,” Reilly says.
Goodenough says “we are delighted to have John Whelan, the vice president and group publisher of WBI, join our cadre of experienced publishing executives. He and the WBI team of editors, publishers, advertising sales executives, event organizers and others–more than 70 employees in total–will give a strong boost to our focus in financial services, as well as expansion into new fields which fit our professional services market definition.”
Whelan will report to Thomas A. Fowler, executive vice president of Highline’s Magazine Division, while the EEI and events businesses will report to James M. Keefe, senior vice president of Highline’s Conference Division.
Douglas J. Manoni, WBI’s CEO, will be leaving the company after a transition period.
“We are very proud of all that we have created and accomplished at WBI over the past seven years,” Manoni says. “Our employees are an extremely talented group of publishing professionals, and I am confident that they will continue to thrive under Summit’s leadership. It’s also exciting and gratifying that our product portfolio is so well aligned with Summit’s strategy and existing assets, such that both businesses will achieve significant benefits as a result of this transaction.”
Reilly says the transaction is “an important step in our strategic goal of becoming a major business information company. This is Summit’s third major acquisition since our formation in November, and we will continue to support our operating units with opportunistic acquisitions as well as investments in organic growth.”
Summit Business Media was formed through a partnership between Reilly, former CEO of PRIMEDIA, and Wind Point Partners in an acquisition of Highline Media and Pfingsten Publishing in November 2006.
Summit Business Media serves the insurance community via Highline’s National Underwriter property-casualty and life-health newsweeklies, the biweekly publication Insurance Advocate; a group of monthly magazines that includes Claims, Tech Decisions and Florida Underwriter; and SB Media L.L.C.’s Life Insurance Selling and American Agent & Broker.
Summit Business Media also serves the financial services and insurance industries via magazines such as Wealth Manager, Research and Futures magazines, reference tools such as TaxFacts and the Fire, Casualty and Surety Bulletins, and 150 other books, electronic products and conference events.
Summit is a leading data provider of financial and market information on insurance companies through its Highline Data subsidiary.
Additional information about Summit Business Media is available at Document Link