• 2 min read

Trethowans complete acquisition for Mark Allen Group from Elsevier

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The corporate team at Trethowans has advised the Mark Allen Group (MAG) on its acquisition of 13 magazines and newsletters and related business from Elsevier Limited, part of the RELX Group. The transaction marks the fifth acquisition by Trethowans for MAG, including the acquisition of the prestigious Farmers Weekly brand in January 2020.

The publications will come under MAG’s B2B publishing business, MA Business, which is run by the group’s COO and this company’s MD, Jon Benson. Jon will be assisted on the editorial side by the group’s content director, Graham Johnson, the former MD of UKi. In addition, under the terms of the acquisition, two editorial staff will be transferring from Elsevier.

Trethowans prepared and negotiated the acquisition documentation and dealt with the legal process throughout. The corporate aspects of the transaction were dealt with by senior associate, Jamie Earley. Associate Andrew Crudge advised on the employment aspects. Jon Stickland, a partner in the commercial team, advised on the transitional service arrangements between MAG and Elsevier.

Mark Allen, executive chairman of the Mark Allen Group, said: “During the past 15 months since lockdown our company has weathered the pandemic storm exceptionally well. The 2020-21 financial year, which we will be reporting in the autumn, will be a record year. It is now time for us to make sure we move forward again. This Elsevier portfolio, with a combination of institutional and corporate subscriptions, as well as advertising, offers us an excellent opportunity to provide these publications with the additional care and attention that we can provide.”

Ben Allen, CEO of the Mark Allen Group, said: “I am delighted to bring these assets into our group. We have exciting plans about how we can develop the products alongside other brands in our portfolio. The transaction went very smoothly from start to finish, which was thanks to the way in which Elsevier conducted the negotiations, as well as the first-class service we once again received from Trethowans. I would like to thank Jamie, Jon and Andrew from Trethowans for their excellent work on the transaction.”

Jamie Earley, corporate senior associate at Trethowans, commented: “We were delighted to assist MAG with its acquisition, building on the four previous acquisitions we have assisted them with. As always, it was good to work with the MAG management team to bring the transaction to a successful conclusion.”

MAG, which employs over 400 staff, has been rapidly expanding over the past decade. It currently boasts over 100 publishing brands in 12 different sectors and organises up to 250 events, exhibitions and awards every year. In 2019-20, a year affected towards the end by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mark Allen Group reported an EBITDA of £8.4 million on a turnover of £54.6 million.

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