Kleinwort Capital invests £7 million into Imagine Publishing to purchase consumer magazine titles

imagineKleinwort Capital Limited (‘KCL’) has today announced an investment of £7 million into Imagine Publishing Limited (‘Imagine’) to fund the acquisition of certain assets from the receivers of Highbury Entertainment Limited, a subsidiary of Highbury House Communications PLC (‘Highbury’).

The assets are principally consumer magazine titles in the videogames, computing and digital photography markets. The investment by Kleinwort Capital Partners IV, a limited partnership managed by KCL, was completed within two weeks of receipt of initial information.

Bournemouth-based Imagine Publishing was launched in 2005 by three former directors of Paragon Publishing. Led by Managing Director Damian Butt, the Imagine team has launched over 60 magazines in the last ten years, including a number of leading videogames magazines. In its first seven months of trading, Imagine itself has launched six titles (360, MacCreative, Cheat Machine, Photoshop Creative, Digital Video Techniques and Gaming Elite Series) and acquired one (Retro Gamer).

The acquisition will reunite the Imagine management team with a majority of the consumer magazine titles sold to Highbury in June 2003 as part of Highbury’s £32 million acquisition of Paragon Publishing. The titles acquired by Imagine include Play, X360, gamesTM, Advanced Photoshop, iCreate and Digital Photographer and will significantly extend Imagine’s portfolio.

Post-acquisition, Imagine will be the second largest UK videogames magazine publisher and will strengthen its presence in the videogames, computing and digital photography markets. The investment by KCL managed funds will fully underwrite Imagine’s asset acquisition from Highbury.

Damian Butt, Managing Director of Imagine said:

This is an extremely important acquisition for Imagine and it helps us to not only develop an already exciting business, but also stimulate further substantial growth. Kleinwort’s involvement and support throughout has been first class, and with this deal, Imagine immediately becomes the second largest videogames publisher in the UK, a market set for explosive growth in 2006/07. The Imagine management team acknowledges the great support of its existing shareholders and is looking forward to galvanising the enlarged magazine portfolio and firmly establishing Imagine as a world class publishing company.

For further comment read Imagine’s press release