Rock titles offloaded by publisher Future as it focuses on digital

April 2, 2013

Bath-based publisher Future is to sell its UK rock magazines Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and associated brand extensions for £10.2m as it continues to concentrate on digital titles.

Future is selling the magazines to Team Rock, a recently-launched Glasgow and London-based business led by former GMG Radio bosses John Myers and Billy Anderson.

As well as Classic Rock and Metal Hammer magazines, the sale includes associated periodicals Prog and AOR, as well as branded events The Golden Gods and The Classic Rock Roll of Honour.

Future said the sale of these activities was consistent with its strategy of “active portfolio management” and will be followed by a further review of the cost base of the business. Future generates nearly 25% of its revenues from digital markets and has prioritised the development of international digital brands in technology, leisure and sport. 

Proceeds of the sale will be used by Future to reduce the level of bank debt and provide funds for further strategic digital investment.

Future chief executive said: “Classic Rock and Metal Hammer generate revenues predominantly from print. Their sale is in line with Future’s strategy of prioritising products which are international and digital. These two iconic print brands have not been central to that strategy and will thrive within a broader music business.”

Future retains a portfolio of music-making titles and the website.

For the year ended 30 September 2012, the revenue, gross contribution and adjusted pre-tax profit attributable to these brands were £8.6m, £1.8m and £0.2m respectively. At 30 September 2012, the gross assets relating to these brands were £6.6m.

The sale will complete on April 16.


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