Gresham House Ventures sells stake in MBI to GlobalData

Gresham House Ventures, a growth equity investor specialising in software and digitally-driven businesses in the consumer, healthcare and service sectors, has sold its majority stake in Media Business Insight (MBI). The leading content, insight and events business for the creative media industry was purchased by GlobalData, an AIM-listed data and analytics company in an off-market transaction.

MBI comprises a range of digitally-led brands including Broadcast and Screen International, providing information and intelligence services informing professionals about the British television industry and international movie industry, respectively. The business also runs ALF Insight, a database of new business intelligence within the UK marketing and advertising sector, and an events business showcasing these with a portfolio that includes the Broadcast Awards and MPTS, the UK’s largest broadcast technology show.

Gresham House’s Mobeus VCTs first invested £11.7mn in MBI in January 2015 to back a management buyout from Ascential plc. This investment has enabled the business to transition from a traditional publisher to a digitally-led data, insights and intelligence company with a market-leading portfolio of brands. Gresham House also supported the business during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping the company to perform above expectations during this challenging period for the media industry.

The exit was led by Bob Henry on behalf of the Mobeus VCTs, and the sale provides the VCTs with a cash-on-cash return of 2.3x.

Bob Henry, Portfolio Director at Gresham House Ventures, said:

“Our investment and the quality of MBI’s management team has enabled the business to transform its operations to fit an increasingly digital landscape and perform strongly through the uncertainty of the pandemic. The sale of our stake is a positive outcome for all parties, delivering an above-expectation multiple for the Mobeus VCTs, further capital for MBI to support its future growth and fitting well within GlobalData’s strategic priorities. We’re delighted for Conor and the team who have worked incredibly hard through the pandemic period and who now join GlobalData to continue MBI’s development.”

Conor Dignam, CEO at MBI, adds:

“We appreciate the support and investment the team at Gresham House has provided over the last seven years, particularly Bob Henry’s contribution as he has been a strong supporter of MBI since the deal was originally done. This partnership has been successful in supporting MBI’s evolution and growth. GlobalData’s expertise and investment will enable us to further strengthen the data and insight we can offer to the market and continue the strategic development of our market-leading media and marketing brands.”

About Gresham House Ventures and Gresham House

Gresham House Ventures is a growth equity investor specialised in scaling businesses with business models driven by technology, customer insight or service excellence. Gresham House Ventures aims to work with ambitious management teams who want the support of a flexible long-term investor who brings capital, insight and expertise.

Gresham House Asset Management is the FCA authorised operating business of Gresham House plc, a London Stock Exchange-quoted specialist alternative asset manager. Gresham House is committed to operating responsibly and sustainably, taking the long view in delivering sustainable investment solutions.

About Media Business Insight (MBI)

MBI owns a range of digitally-led specialist news and information brands focussed on the media and marketing sectors including Broadcast, Screen International,  Account List File (ALF),  along with data and intelligence brands including Broadcast Intelligence, The Knowledge, Production Intelligence, and KFTV. MBI also runs some of the UK media industry’s leading events and awards, including The Media Production and Technology Show along with the Broadcast Awards, Broadcast Sport Awards and Screen Awards. It recently acquired the Rapid TV News brand. It has offices in London and LA and employs 85 staff.