Wicks Group buys Northstar Media
July 9, 2012 - Private equity firm Wicks Group has purchased Northstar Travel Media, an ABM member, from BV Investment Partners (formerly Boston Ventures), another private equity firm, according to a press release e-mailed to ABM by Northstar. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Northstar CEO Tom Kemp and his management team will stay in place under Wicks. As Kemp told Folio:, the the EBITDA multiple for the deal was in the “mid-to-high single digits,” a benchmark that puts the deal “at or near the top of the successful transactions in this market during the last few years,” according to Folio:'s Tony Silber.
“The fact that Wicks is interested in writing checks into this market is certainly indicative of the value of the b-to-b sector,” Kemp said.
Kemp told Media Business that while Northstar saw about 74 percent of overall revenue from print products when he joined the company in 2009, today print accounts for 40 percent of revenue while digital revenue has doubled.
“We are very impressed with the growth of Northstar Travel Media over the last few years during challenging economic conditions,” Dan Kortick, a managing partner at Wicks, said in a statement. “The management team has done an excellent job of migrating its core business to an integrated information and marketing solutions company. We are excited about partnering with the current management team to continue to grow the company through product development and strategic acquisitions.”
Northstar, a b-to-b information company serving the travel and meetings industries, brings about 17 brands to the table, including Travel Weekly, Business Travel News, Meetings & Conventions and Meeting News, as well as more than 20 live events and PhoCusWright, a research and event producer focused on online travel distribution. BV Investment Partners had owned Northstar Travel since 2001. The deal was shepherded by the Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.
By Michael Moran Alterio and Matt Kinsman