Ocean was established in 2006 by David Moran and Dublin-based investor Ion Equity to acquire the exhibitions and magazines businesses of Trinity Mirror. The group was subsequently sold in 2007 to an MBI team headed by Trevor Barratt. Almost five years after exiting Ocean, Moran and Ion Equity have stepped back into the business.
Moran and Ion Equity, the former owners of Ocean Media Group, bought the business back this month. The duo originally acquired Trinity Mirror’s exhibition and magazine business in 2006 for £41.5m and rebranded it Ocean Media Group. The pair sold the group to AAC Capital partners for £104m approximately 18 months later.
The substantial debt left after the 2007 sale – estimated at up to £60m – was a continual blot on the group’s balance sheet, and eventually led to its banks’ assuming shareholder control last March. A subsequent restructure was followed by a formal sale process last November.
Ocean publishes a number of leading magazines and operates a range of very successful consumer and trade exhibitions – both in the UK and across continental Europe – focusing on the weddings/bridal and social housing sectors. It also organises numerous conferences, awards ceremonies and other face-to-face networking events.