GoCompare has closed a £ 600 million deal: Future magazine publisher crashes its price comparison website
The UK’s largest magazine publisher has acquired Go Compare, a price comparison website worth £ 600 million.
Future, which owns dozens of niche print and online titles including Country Life, Games Radar and Cycling Weekly, wants to use the brand’s technology to sell more services to its 400 million readers.
It is offering cash and stock as part of a deal where GoCompare, known for its opera singer mascot Gio Compario, is valued at £ 594 million, or 136 pence per share.
Future magazine publisher is offering cash and stocks at a price that Go Compare – known for its opera singer mascot Gio Compario (pictured) – rates at £ 594 million or 136 pence per share
The acquisition gives Sir Peter Wood, the insurance tycoon behind the company, a package worth a total of £ 170 million, including a 6 percent stake in Future.
It’s also another bold chess game from Future boss Zillah Byng-Thorne, who has watched her company’s share price surge by nearly 700 percent and received a £ 18 million bonus last year.
She said the Go Compare connection will allow the company’s titles to offer a growing number of services to customers, “like the store where the assistant can advise you on the best product and then show you where to buy it.” “.
For example, titles like Games Radar are already posting articles listing laptops that are best for playing video games, with links to sellers who, in turn, will earn future commission fees.
In recent years, the publisher has teamed up with third parties to offer readers the fast broadband that they need for online gaming.
Future would now like to take advantage of this internally and use the technology of Go Compare to offer readers of Real Homes, Cycling Weekly and other brands deals on home insurance, energy costs and mortgages.
Byng-Thorne, 46, added, “We are already helping audiences choose the best laptops for video games.
“This way we can also tell which broadband you can play your games on best.
“It’s about getting the best deal for consumers while maximizing opportunities for the future.”
Key players behind the sale
Zillah Byng-Thorne – – future
Under Zillah Byng-Thorne, the magazine publisher Future has become a favorite of the stock market.
The 46-year-old became managing director seven years ago and has since seen the share price rise 680 percent.
She received a £ 18 million bonus last year despite the company facing a revolt over executive pay in January.
She is also on the board of directors of bookmaker Flutter, Go Co, and e-commerce giant Hut Group.
Peter Wood – GoCompare
74-year-old Sir Peter Wood turned insurance on its head when he introduced Direct Line in 1985.
The twice-married father of six daughters founded Esure in 1999, which launched the all-women brand Sheilas’ Wheels in 2005 and bought Go Co in 2014.
He has amassed an estimated £ 1.2 billion on luxury homes in the UK, US and Spain. He made £ 360 million on his stake in Esure. His Go Compare stake is £ 170 million.
The chief executive, who previously ran Auto Trader, took over the management of Future in 2013 and is said to have initiated a trend reversal that has turned him from a stumbling publisher into a digital pioneer. Titles like Tech Radar charge fees from product sales funnels like Amazon.
Around 23 percent of Future’s sales now come from e-commerce. As of September 30th, the number rose from £ 47.2m to £ 79.3m.
Over the same period, Future’s revenue rose from £ 221.5m to £ 339.6m and profits from £ 12.7m to £ 52m after taking over rival TI Media.
Go Compare was founded in Wales in 2006. It was bought by Woods Esure for £ 95m in 2014 and spun off in 2016 with its own listing.
In a joint announcement released yesterday, Go Compare owners, Go Co Group and Future urged shareholders to support the acquisition.
But Future’s shares fell 16.7 percent, or 328p, to 1634p after the announcement, suggesting investors were pissed off on the deal.
The Go Co Group share price rose 5.8 percent, or 6.4 pence, to 116.4 pence yesterday.
However, Russ Mold, Investment Director at AJ Bell, said the binding looked like a “natural” fit.
“Future’s offer is one of those offers that might surprise you at first, but then quickly discover that the deal is logical,” he said.
‘A lot of people still associate Future as a magazine publisher, but its business model has moved well beyond traditional media.
“It has a platform to power a wide variety of websites that are powerful ways for people to spend money.”