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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Advanstar's Q3 

Advanstar Reports Results for the First Nine Months and Third Quarter of 2006

Advanstar's Q3 results are in. In the first nine months of 2006, the company increased revenues 13% to $232.2 million. For the quarter, revenues were up 12% to $96 million.

Adjusted EBITDA for the first nine months was up 19% to $85.6 million. EBITDA increased 3% in the third quarter to $32.9 million.

The company shows a net loss of $700k for the first nine months, down from a net profit of $26.9 million for the same period last year. The differences here are due to accruals for contingent earnout payments related to acquisitions in the fashion arena, and the disappearance of income from discontinued operations in the prior year.

Total interest expense for the period dropped from $49.2 million to $41.2 million.

While the fashion segment continues to drive the majority of the company's growth, the power sports group is also growing well in both revenues and EBITDA, reaping the benefits of its prior launch activities.

Given the company's still high debt load, I'd say Advanstar continues to look pretty healthy.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Belated Birth Announcement 

Hanley Wood’s ‘Architect’ serves as springboard into commercial construction markets

This is (more than) a bit of a self-serving post, but I'd like to offer props to Hanley Wood on the occasion of the birth of their newest magazine, Architect.

My partner Scott Chase and I were involved in this launch, conducting reader and advertiser research, and developing and refining the initial positioning of the magazine. Our senior advisor, Denis Cambruzzi, contributed sales for the premiere issue.

As the article linked above notes, Architect is a key element of Hanley Wood's five year strategic plan. It's a huge launch into a new, though related, market space for the company. And it looks to be a roaring success--not only is the first issue fat with ads, but after the launch announcement, VNU folded its tent and sold competitors Architecture and Architectural Lighting to HW.

This baby's beautiful. My congratulations to Frank Anton, Peter Goldstone, Pat Carroll and the team at HW.

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Wasserstein Realigning Portfolio? 

The Telegraph (UK) reports that Bruce Wassserstein's US Equity Partners may sell its ALM (American Lawyer Media) assets.

Grab:

US Equity has been working with investment bank Credit Suisse on the possible sale of the business, which it acquired in 1997, according to banking sources. The company, which is understood to make profits of around $55m, could fetch between $600m and $700m.

I don't whether the Telegraph story is accurate--consider the following grab:

Asked about a possible sale of ALM, Anup Bagaria, vice chairman of Wasserstein & Co, said: "We are not sending a book out on ALM and we are not running an auction process. We have talked to people about the company. If the right price came along, we could sell".

However, a sale of ALM wouldn't be terribly surprising, given that it resides in a fund that's about 9 years old--a fairly long hold for a PE firm.

ALM is part of US Equity Partners I, "which invested approximately $425 million of equity capital (including co-investments), was raised in 1997-98, and is currently in its harvest stage," according to Wasserstein & Co's website. Wasserstein's excellent The Deal (one of my favorite reads) and its Real Estate Media, are also part of EP I.

US Equity Partners II--a separate fund--holds investments in Prism, Hanley Wood, and presumably Penton (should that deal close successfully). Wasserstein's website characterizes that fund as "early in its investment phase."

UPDATE: BtoB has Wasserstein & Co. denying that ALM is for sale.

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