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Future sells cycling titles to Immediate Media

Published May 29, 2014

LONDON (BRAIN) — Future plc has agreed to sell its Sport and Craft titles, including its cycling magazines and cycling websites, to Immediate Media Company for £24 million ($40.1 million), the company announced early Thursday. The cycling titles include Cyclingnews.com, bikeradar.com, Procycling, Cycling Plus, Mountain Biking UK, What Mountain Bike, Urban Cyclist, On Your Bike, and Onyourbike.org. Future's multi-sport titles, Triathlon Plus and Triradar.com, were not listed among the sold titles, although both are part of Future's Sport division.

Future had also announced that it planned to cut more than 200 jobs after reporting a £30.6 millin ($51.2 million) pre-tax loss in the first half of its fiscal year. The job cuts include 170 positions in the U.K.; news reports say about 130 jobs in the Craft and Sports divisions will transfer to Immediate Media.

"The disposal of the portfolio of Sport and Craft titles to Immediate Media for up to £24m is a key step in the new strategy to transform Future into a more simplified business, focussing on core verticals with an emphasis on the consumer technology market," said Zillah Byng-Maddick, CEO of Future. "The disposal titles are well managed and successful parts of the business and they will thrive under their new ownership." 

Immediate Media claims to be the third largest magazine publisher in the U.K, with a total subscriber base of over 1 million. The company operates 50 websites, 60 magazines and more than 70 brands and employs nearly 900 people in the U.K. Its titles include 220 Triathlon magazine and the Triathlon Show, a U.K. consumer expo held each March.

Nathan Forbes, Future's North American advertising manager for its cycling titles, said he would join a conference call with Future executives on Thursday morning, when he expected to learn more about what the sale will mean for the cycling titles and U.S. operations. Forbes said he believes that the cycling titles were among the most profitable areas of Future's business recently.

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