Deal sees Foresight realise Factory Media investment

Foresight Group has divested its interest in adventure sports publisher Factory Media, securing the private equity firm a 2x multiple on its total investment.

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The £8 million stake is being acquired by Forward Internet Group, which manages web brands and digital media assets.

Foresight made its investment in Factory Media in 2006 through the MBO/MBI backing of three action sports publishers, giving it a 50 per cent equity stake. In 2007 Foresight continued its investment by bolstering Factory’s digital business and made a number of acquisitions in 2010 and 2011.

James Livingston, investment director at Foresight Group, comments, ‘We’re delighted to have generated another good return for our investors through this exit, particularly given the challenging economic backdrop.

‘I have no doubt the company will continue to grow and innovate successfully in partnership with Forward.’

Factory Media provides content for the board sports and cycling markets. It publishes 19 consumer magazines and 25 targeted sports websites as well as its ‘flagship’ digital service MPORA.COM. Since Foresight’s initial investment, staff numbers have doubled to 100 and the business now has offices in the UK, Germany and France.

Darryl Newton, managing director at Factory Media, says that Foresight has enabled the London-headquartered business to ‘realise the potential of the business’.

He adds, ‘Having the support of Forward Internet Group’s digital expertise will have a significant impact on the development of our media assets.

‘We are excited that an innovative and fast growing media technology business has seen the potential in our teams, brands and audiences.’

Foresight has £600 million of assets under management across its funds. Through its private equity team it invests between £1 million and £5 million in UK small and medium-sized enterprises.

In January the firm exited part of its investment in car diagnostics provider Autologic through a deal with ISIS Equity Partners.

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