B2B. The listed, London-based parliamentary information business, the Dods Group Plc has acquired the Anglo-Indian Meritgroup Ltd for a price of £22.4m – more than 50% of Dods’ own market cap. The 186-year-old Dods specialises in providing information, magazines and events on politics and public policy in the UK and across the EU.
The company, whose principal brands include Total Politics, Politics Home and The House, is 44% owned by the UK political figure Lord Ashcroft. It has suffered in recent years from successive changes of CEO and board directors, and also from strategic mistakes, related to technology and the erratic shift from print to digital. The history is illustrated by the company’s 2018 results: £21m revenue and £3.5m EBITDA, compared with £46m and £6m a decade previously. Brexit may not have helped.