M&A

Mondadori Group raises its stake to 75% in A.L.I. – Agenzia Libraria International

The Mondadori Group announces the conclusion today, through its subsidiary Mondadori Libri S.p.A., of the acquisition of a further 25% stake in A.L.I. S.r.l. – Agenzia Libraria International, operating in the distribution of books.

The transaction – which raises the Mondadori Group stake in A.L.I. to 75%, which will be subject to full consolidation as of 1 January 2023 – takes place in execution of the agreements defined and disclosed last 11 May 2022 upon acquisition of an initial 50% stake, effective earlier than the date originally scheduled for 28 February 2023.

The provisional price, paid entirely in cash, is approximately € 9.5 million and was determined, as already disclosed to the market, on the basis of an average 2021-2022 EBITDA and the positive net financial position (cash) of the scope covered by the transaction, which at 31 December 2022 amounted to € 17.8 million (preliminary figure).

Additionally, the defined agreements give the Mondadori Group the right to acquire the remaining 25% in A.L.I., at a price to be determined on the basis of an average 2023-2024 EBITDA, through put&call options exercisable by 30 July 2025.

The transaction is consistent with the path of vertical integration in the books market, with a view to the gradual strengthening in the promotion and distribution activities of third-party publishers.

 

 

Mondadori Group: completed disposal to Reworld Media of the operations under the Grazia and Icon brands

The Mondadori Group announces the execution today by the subsidiary Mondadori Media S.p.A. of the contract for the disposal to Reworld Media S.A. – signed last 22 November and disclosed to the market on the same date – of the print and digital publishing operations of the Grazia and Icon brands, as well as the related international licensing network.

 The execution of the transaction took place with the transfer of the business unit heading the operations disposed of to a newly-incorporated company and the concurrent disposal to Reworld Media of 100% of the share capital of the transferee.

 

Mondadori Group: Presidency of the Council of Ministers gives go-ahead to the disposal to Reworld Media of the operations under the Grazia and Icon brands

The Mondadori Group announces that it has received notification today from the Offices of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the resolution not to exercise the special powers under Law Decree 21/2012 regarding the disposal to Reworld Media S.A. of the operations under the Grazia and Icon brands, as disclosed last 22 November.

The measure, which in essence authorizes the disposal of the above operations, triggers the fulfilment of the suspensive condition attached to the sale agreement, which will therefore be fully executed on the closing date.

The completion of the transaction will be promptly disclosed to the market.

Mondadori Group: signing of disposal to Reworld Media of the Grazia and Icon brands

The Mondadori Group announces that, on today’s date, the subsidiary Mondadori Media S.p.A. exercised the put option, previously disclosed to the market last 20 October, and, as a result of it, signed the agreement that regulates the disposal to Reworld Media S.A. of the print and digital publishing operations of Grazia and Icon as well as the related international network.

The consideration for the transaction, as previously disclosed, is € 8.5 million, including € 2 million as earn-out conditional on the achievement of certain financial results in 2023 by the operations disposed of. The price – to be paid in cash at the closing date was defined on the basis of an Enterprise Value of € 11 million (including earn-out), net of the difference between the average net working capital over the last 12 months and the net working capital at the closing date.

In 2021, the above-mentioned activities generated revenue of approximately € 18 million.

Completion of the transaction – subject to the outcome of the assessment procedure under Law Decree 21/2012 by the Offices of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – will take place through the transfer by Mondadori Media of the business operations to be disposed of to a newly-incorporated company and the subsequent disposal to Reworld Media of 100% of the share capital of the transferee.

In accordance with the provisions of law, the procedure with the trade unions was accomplished.

Mondadori group: put option on Grazia and Icon brands

The Mondadori Group announces that on today’s date, Reworld Media S.A. has granted a put option through which its subsidiary Mondadori Media S.p.A. is entitled with the right to sell its Grazia and Icon business operations.

The perimeter underlying the option includes the print and digital operations of the two brands, as well as the relating international network comprising over 20 geographies with licensed publications.
In 2021, the perimeter recorded revenue of approximately € 18 million.

Under the terms of the put option, the Purchase Price has been set at €8,5 million, of which € 2 million as earn-out subject to the achievement of certain financial results in 2023, and is based on an Enterprise Value of the perimeter equal to € 11 million (including earn-out), net of the difference between the average net working capital of the last 12 months and the net working capital at closing date.

The Mondadori Group, pursuant to the provisions of law, will launch the consultation procedure with the trade unions, following which the option could be exercised.

Following the ongoing assessments, Mondadori Group will promptly disclose to the market any decision made relating to the exercise of the option and any further steps, terms and conditions of the process underlying the transaction.

The deal – the possible completion of which will also be subject to the outcome of the assessment procedure by the Offices of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers referred to in Law Decree 21/2012 – would be in line with the Mondadori Group’s repositioning strategy of increasing focus on the core business of books and on brands with greater potential for multimedia exploitation.

Mondadori Group: disposal completed of 51% of Press-di S.r.l.

The Mondadori Group announces the completion today of the disposal to Artoni Group S.p.A. and SRH S.r.l. – two of the leading local distributors of daily newspapers and magazines – of 51% of the share capital of Press-di Distribuzione Stampa e Multimedia S.r.l.; the company is wholly owned by Mondadori Media S.p.A. and is active in the national distribution of newspapers and magazines for the Mondadori Group and for over 90 third-party publishers.

The transaction will not envisage changes in the contractual terms and conditions already applied to distribution activities, and is intended to increase efficiency and achieve synergies through a vertical integration process in the sector by involving specialized players; additionally, Righel Anglois will continue to hold his position as CEO.
The transaction continues the path of shortening the distribution chain to protect, digitize and strengthen the “last mile”, with an increasing support to newsstands, which are the most tangible and important interface with readers for publishers of newspapers and magazines.

The disposal of 51% of Press-di, which contributed approximately € 29 million to the Mondadori Group’s consolidated revenue in 2021, envisages a consideration of € 1.5 million; the transaction will produce no material operating, financial or business effects and will have no impact on the Group’s guidance for 2022 as disclosed to the market.

Mondadori Group: acquisition completed of 51% of Edizioni Star Comics

The Mondadori Group announces the completion today, through its subsidiary Mondadori Libri S.p.A., of the acquisition of 51% of Edizioni Star Comics S.r.l., Italy’s leading comic books publisher.
The transaction, which takes place in execution of the agreement signed and disclosed to the market last 6 June, will be effective as of 1 July, the date from which Mondadori will also fully consolidate the company.

As a result of the acquisition – consistent with the strategy of increasing focus on the core business of books – the Mondadori Group gains a leadership position in the domestic comic books segment, with an approximately 30% market share (GfK, in terms of value, June 2022).
Under the agreement, Simone Bovini and Claudia Bovini retain their management positions in Edizioni Star Comics, continuing to serve as Managing Directors.

The price for the acquisition of 51% of the share capital of Edizioni Star Comics – paid fully in cash today – is € 14.28 million, defined on the basis of an Enterprise Value (for 100% of the company) of € 28 million and an estimated net financial position at closing of zero.
The price will be adjusted based on the final net financial position at 30 June 2022.

The transaction, including the impact of the put&call options giving the Mondadori Group the right to increase its stake up to 100% in Edizioni Star Comics, changes the Group’s guidance for 2022 as follows:

  • free cash flow is expected to be € 10-15 million versus the previous estimate of € 40-45 million;
  • the Adjusted NFP/EBITDA ratio (IFRS16) stands at a level below 1.3x versus the previous forecast (below 1.1x).

Mondadori Group: agreement signed on the acquisition of 51% of Edizioni Star Comics

The Mondadori Group announces that it has signed an agreement today on the acquisition of a 51% stake in Edizioni Star Comics S.r.l., Italy’s leading comic books publisher, specialized in the publication on the domestic market of the major international productions including, in particular, Japanese manga.

The acquisition, fully consistent with the repeatedly-announced strategy to strengthen the core business of books, allows the Mondadori Group to secure a leadership position in the domestic comic books segment, the most thriving area in the publishing industry, boasting a 175% growth over the three-year period 2019-2021 and 30% in the first 4 months of 2022 (figures in terms of value, source AIE Research Office on Nielsen Bookscan data).

“Over the past few years, the Comics segment has become an important lever of development for the entire books chain, thanks also to the high innovation rate of the publishing offer and the extraordinary ability it has to attract new readers: Star Comics stands as the undisputed leader in this segment” – said Antonio Porro, CEO of the Mondadori Group.
“The exchange of expertise between our group and a publisher such as Star Comics, whose people have been able to build a recognized and consolidated leadership over time, enhanced by a strong relationship with its audience, will be interesting and fruitful”, ended Porro.

The activities of Edizioni Star Comics can find further opportunities for growth within the Mondadori Group, thanks to the synergies generated by the deal, including, in particular, access to the most extensive network of bookstores in Italy, where Mondadori Retail is developing spaces specifically dedicated to the comics product.

The acquisition of a 51% stake in the share capital of Edizioni Star Comics was defined on the basis of an Enterprise Value (for 100% of the company) of € 28 million: the price, which will be paid in full in cash at closing, will be subject to final adjustment based on the net financial position at the closing date.

The defined agreements also envisage the underwriting of call option contracts, which give the Mondadori Group the right to acquire the remaining 49% stake in Edizioni Star Comics, exercisable in two equal tranches starting from the approval of the 2024 and 2027 financial statements, respectively, at a price to be set on the basis of the average EBITDA of the relevant previous three years. Should Mondadori fail to exercise the call options, the agreements govern put options in favour of the sellers exercisable under the same price conditions.

In 2021, Edizioni Star Comics recorded strong growth in results versus the prior year: revenue of        € 21.6 million, EBITDA of € 7.2 million, net profit of € 5.1 million and a positive net financial position (cash) of € 4,3 million.

Under the deal, Simone Bovini and Claudia Bovini – who founded and have so far successfully managed Edizioni Star Comics, bringing it to its leading role in the Italian comic books market – will retain management responsibilities and continue to serve as managing directors of the company.
The scope of the transaction also includes the acquisition of 100% of Grafiche Bovini S.r.l., a company controlled by the same family of founders, specialized in printing activities exclusively of products published by Edizioni Star Comics.

The transaction is expected to close by 30 June 2022, and is conditional, inter alia, upon the spin-off of the property component as well as the consent of the Japanese and Korean licensors who own the rights to some of the company’s publications.
Any impact on guidance for the current year, which has already been disclosed to the market, will be announced on completion of the transaction.

Mondadori Group: conclusion of the acquisition of 50% of A.L.I. – Agenzia Libraria International

The Mondadori Group announces the conclusion today, through its subsidiary Mondadori Libri S.p.A., of the acquisition of 50% of A.L.I. S.r.l. – Agenzia Libraria International, a company operating in the distribution of books and boasting a client portfolio of over 80 publishers. The transaction takes place in execution of the agreement signed and disclosed to the market last 11 November 2021.

Thanks to this acquisition, the Mondadori Group takes a further step along the path of increasing focus on the books market, through a process of vertical integration that allows the Group to strengthen its position in the promotion and distribution of third-party publishers, with a view to continually improving the service level and expanding the customer portfolio.

As already disclosed, the scope of the transaction includes a number of subsidiaries operating in the publishing field.
The acquisition price, paid in cash on today’s date, is € 10.8 million.

The 50% stake in A.L.I. will be consolidated at equity effective as from 1 May 2022.

The final agreements envisage the acquisition by the Mondadori Group of a further 25% stake in A.L.I., effective as from 28 February 2023, at a price to be set based on average EBITDA 2021-2022. As from 1 March 2023, the company will be then fully consolidated.

The deal also governs the subscription of put&call options, which give Mondadori the right to acquire the remaining 25% of A.L.I. by 30 July 2025 at a price to be set based on average EBITDA 2023-2024.

The members of the Belloni family, the founders of A.L.I., will keep their roles of responsibility in the operational management of the company.

The closing of the acquisition follows the authorization by the competent Antitrust Authority, disclosed on 7 March 2022.

Mention should be made that the 2022 guidance (in particular the estimated Free Cash Flow), disclosed on 16 March, included the financial effects of the above transaction.

 

 

Mondadori Group: closing acquisition 50% De Agostini Libri

The Mondadori Group announces the closing today, through its subsidiary Mondadori Libri S.p.A., in execution of the agreement signed and disclosed to the market last 22 November 2021, of the acquisition, from De Agostini Editore, of a 50% stake in the share capital of De Agostini Libri S.r.l., formerly DeA Planeta Libri, specialized in trade books with focus on the children’s and non-fiction segments.

As already disclosed, the scope of the deal includes Libromania S.r.l., wholly-owned by De Agostini Libri and active in the promotion of third-party publishers: the agreements reached include put&call options, exercisable in second half 2022, which entitle the Mondadori Group to acquire 100% of Libromania.

The total maximum value of the acquisition, taking account of the 100% valuation of Libromania, is set at € 4.5 million.

The transaction, which creates a partnership with a time-honoured publishing house boasting a strong heritage and know-how, is in line with the repeatedly announced strategy of increasing the focus on the core business of books, pursued also through a process of vertical integration in the books market.

In 2021, De Agostini Libri reported consolidated revenue of € 13.9 million and EBITDA of € 0.2 million.

The corporate governance structure entitles the Mondadori Group to fully consolidate the stake.

Closing of the acquisition follows the authorization issued by the Antitrust Authority as disclosed last 25 February 2022.