Magazines. The UK specialist magazine publisher, the Enthuse Group, has bought a 51% stake in AA Media Ltd, the hospitality, publishing and merchandising unit of the AA, the UK listed car breakdown service, route finder, and insurance provider formerly known as the Automobile Association. The deal is reported to value AA Media (£17.5m revenue and £2.1m EBITDA in 2018) at about £10m.
Enthuse Group (formerly known as My Time Media) was co-founded in 2006 by majority shareholder and ex Daily Mail Group executive Owen Davies via a buyout of hobby magazines from Highbury House Communications which collapsed that year. It serves special interest groups with some 30 print, digital and event brands including Hi-Fi News, The Woodworker, Model Engineer, and Stamp magazine in the UK, and Shutterbug and Sound & Vision in the US.
The company has been growing rapidly, principally through the acquisition of seemingly unloved magazine brands from larger publishing companies including Time Inc and Future Plc. It acquired three US brands last year from The Enthusiast Network.In 2018, Enthuse Group reported revenue up 75% to £10.5m and EBITDA of £1.3m. It claims 250k paying magazine subscribers, 1.7m monthly uniques, and 1m YouTube monthly views. More than 30% of revenues are from outside the UK. The AA Media investment clearly represents a major step-up for the quietly ambitious UK company.