Cannes Lions owner Ascential floats 35% for $1.16bn | M&M Global

Cannes Lions owner Ascential floats 35% for $1.16bn

Ascential, which runs 17 magazines including Drapers and Retail Week, has floated 35% of the company with shares valued at 200p ($2.91) per share.



The business is jointly owned by Guardian Media Group, which has 32.9% of the company, and private equity group Apax, which has about two thirds. The offering will bring an end to the newspaper and private equity’s eight year partnership.

Senior managers at Ascential (formerly Emap and Top Right Group) are set to do well from the magazine publisher and Cannes Lions festival owner’s stock market debut, confirmed at £800m ($1.2bn).

Ascential chief executive Duncan Painter has 3.5 million shares worth over £7m ($10.1m), while Cannes Lions chief executive Philip Thomas will get £2m ($2.91m) for 975,000 shares, 20% of which he is offloading.

“I am very pleased with the response we have received from investors towards our company, our products and our IPO,” said Painter. “This recognition stands as testament to the hard work of our people, each of whom can take pride in the industry-leading company they have helped to build.”

Boss of Plexus publishing arm Natasha Christie-Miller intends to sell 10% of the 683,000 shares worth £1.4m ($2.03) she will get.

Trading in the shares is due to commence on Friday (12 February).

This news will come as a welcome boost for the Guardian, which is currently seeking to reduce costs by £54m ($78.4m) after a review showed that its £758m ($1,100m) trust fund could run out in less than ten years.

Anna Dobbie


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