SouthComm Completes Business Media Acquisition
Iroquois Capital Group is pleased to announce that SouthComm, Inc., a portfolio company of Solidus, has completed the acquisition of a group of business media assets from Cygnus Business Media, Inc. The acquired assets are part of SouthComm Business Media, LLC, a newly-created division of SouthComm, Inc. Iroquois Capital Group advised SouthComm on the transaction with financing provided by Credit Value Partners, LP. Financial terms of the deal between SouthComm Inc. and Cygnus Business Media are not being disclosed.
Founded in 1997, Cygnus produces B2B trade magazines and expositions, websites, podcasts and webcasts. SouthComm is the parent of the Nashville Scene, Nfocus, Nashville Medical News, the Nashville Post and numerous other publications in parts of the Midwest and Southeast.
“Five years ago, we embarked on a mission to improve Cygnus and return value to our shareholders,” Cygnus CEO John French said. “During the last several years, the company has worked hard to turn its properties into multi-platform industry-leading brands because we knew one day the company would be sold. With this sale today, we take another step toward that ultimate goal. “After working with SouthComm on this deal for the past few months, we could not be more impressed with their team,” added French. “We realized that their leadership team has a great vision for the future of these brands.”
The properties sold include Cygnus’ Public Safety and Security Group, which includes Firehouse, Firehouse.com, Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, EMS World, EMSworld.com, EMS World Expo, Law Enforcement Technology, Law Enforcement Product News, Officer.com, Security Technology Executive, Security Dealer & Integrator, Secured Cities, Locksmith Ledger International, LocksmithLedger.com and SecurityInfoWatch.com. The sale also includes Mass Transit, MassTransitMag.com, Professional Tool & Equipment News, Professional Distributor, Fleet Maintenance and VehicleServicePros.com. SouthComm Founder and CEO Chris Ferrell said the transaction nearly doubles the size of the company and moves SouthComm into the B2B space in a major way. “The publications and web sites we are acquiring are some of the industry leaders in their respective fields,” Ferrell said. “We applaud John and the entire Cygnus team for the work they’ve done to make these publications, web sites and expos industry leaders. We are excited to add these titles to the SouthComm portfolio of businesses and continue to provide leading content to all of the audiences served by these well-known brands.”
Ferrell said the acquisition comes on the seven-year anniversary of the founding of SouthComm. Since then, the company has grown to more than $50 million in annualized revenues and a targeted readership that in the aggregate exceeds 5 million readers per month.
Linda Costello, who manages Investment Banking for Iroquois, commented, “Iroquois Capital is very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with SouthComm on this important acquisition. Carve-out transactions are always complicated so it was important that CVP and the whole legal and financial team had deep experience in middle market acquisition financings. Also, it was especially gratifying to work with Townes Duncan at Solidus, SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell, CVP’s Mike Keller and a number of other professionals whom I’ve known for many years and who call Nashville home.”
SouthComm, Inc. is a holding company which owns a diversified portfolio of print and digital media assets. The Company operates three divisions, SouthComm Communications, Custom Publishing, and SouthComm Business Media. SouthComm Communications acquires, develops, owns, and operates niche print and digital media properties and is the largest publisher of alt-weekly newspapers in the U.S. SouthComm’s Custom Publishing division is the preferred Chamber of Commerce custom publisher for printed membership directory and relocation guides. Newly-formed SouthComm Business Media operates business-to-business trade shows, print publications, and websites as well as Target Marketing, the nation’s premier publisher of Chamber of Commerce street maps. SouthComm Inc. was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. For more information, please visit www.southcomm.com.
Solidus Company, L.P. is a private investment partnership that invests in high growth businesses to build and sustain wealth, create important companies, and foster entrepreneurial success. Over more than a decade, Solidus has specialized in early stage investing, maintaining an evergreen portfolio that advantages investors with broad exposure to diverse types and phases of companies. The firm primarily invests in high growth businesses in the healthcare services and information technology, applied technology, media, and information services sectors. Solidus Company was founded in 1997 and is based in Nashville, Tennessee with additional offices in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Memphis, Tennessee. For more information, please visit www.solidus.com.
About Credit Value Partners:
Credit Value Partners, LP is a registered investment advisor specializing in High Yielding and Non-Investment Grade Corporate Debt. The founding CVP team was formed with Credit Suisse Asset Management (“CSAM”) in February 2008 and spun out of CSAM as an independent firm in October of 2010. Today, CVP manages approximately $1.9 billion in capital and has over 400 institutional and high net worth investors. CVP specializes in customized lending solutions to middle-market companies. It provides first lien senior secured loans, second lien loans, unitranche loans, mezzanine financing and equity co-investments. Credit Value Partners is headquartered in Greenwich, CT with an additional office in Nashville, TN.
About Iroquois Capital Group:
Iroquois Capital Group, Inc. is a Nashville-based merchant and investment banking firm led by business executives who have been CEOs and have extensive finance and M&A experience. Iroquois’ investment bankers have combined experience of more than 60 years advising middle market companies about their growth and financing options. Iroquois provides a wide range of services including private capital advisory, mergers & acquisitions advisory, and restructuring advisory to middle-market companies.