B2B information. UK-based information and events group Ascential has announced the acquisition of Brand View, a provider of price and promotion analytics to retailers and manufacturers, for up to £38m. The price includes conditional deferred consideration of up to £8.2m. Unaudited revenue for the year to June 2018 was £13m, and the transaction is expected to be immediately earnings accretive with Brand View expected to generate EBITDA profit margins of 20%. This relatively small deal continues Ascential’s track record of paying high prices: even if the 10-year-old Brand View was already making the targeted 20% margins, this acquisition multiple would be 15 x. In fact, the multiple of actual profit is believed to be 25x. But few B2B companies are as good at wringing the profits out as the £1.7bn Ascential. The company’s tech-savvy CEO Duncan Painter has been making very selective acquisitions in the UK and US and has already disclosed that Brand View will be integrated with Ascential’s OCR, Clavis and Planet Retail operations which will ensure some scale economies on a global basis. But this kind of price emphasises the importance of the listed company continuing to get the kind of organic growth that it has been able extract, for example, from its globalising Money 20/20 events. It’s flying high.
2017 context: Ascential, the new force in B2B media