SM&B advise executors of Felix Dennis’ estate on sale of Dennis Publishing (UK) Ltd to Exponent Private Equity

Simons Muirhead & Burton LLP (SM&B) has advised the Executors of the Estate of the late Felix Dennis and Dennis Publishing (UK) Limited on the sale of the Dennis Publishing group of companies to Exponent Private Equity.

Dennis Publishing is a multi-platform international media group which owns several award winning brands, including The Week. Its portfolio consists of over 30 brands across four main areas of focus: Current Affairs, Technology, Automotive and Special Interest. In addition to The Week, it is home to several well-known brands including MoneyWeek, The Week Junior, BuyACar.co.uk, Auto Express, CarBuyer, Computer Active, Alphr.com, Cyclist and Viz, among others. Across all its brands it reaches over 50 million readers and sells over 2.5 million magazines every month.

The highly complex and landmark industry transaction, which included a restructuring of assets and sales of shares both in the UK and in the US, was led by partners Peter Weiss and Neal Hodges from the Corporate Team.

The sale of the group was coordinated by Livingstone Partners, a London-based broker. Once Exponent Private Equity had been chosen as the bidder, only eight working days passed until exchanging. Of SM&B, Richard Fetterman of Livingstone Partners said:

“We worked closely with the SM&B team during the auction process and on the transaction with Exponent.  We were extremely impressed with SM&B’s ability to progress a deal of this size and complexity to exchange on an extremely challenging timescale, and would not hesitate to recommend them on any transaction in this sector.”

As reported today in The Times, proceeds from the sale will go the the Heart of England Forest, a charity set up by Felix Dennis in his lifetime, the aim being to bring back trees to the landscape by creating a native forest in the centre of England at the rate of 300 acres per year.