Highbury Safika Media has bought a controlling interest in Ramsay Media from Caxton. Magazines in the group include Getaway, Leisure Wheels, Popular Mechanics and CAR magazine.
“Highbury is in an enviable position. We’ve grown and developed despite the industry changes. We have proven that forward-thinking operators can excel, even as our business models continue to shift in this business. I’ve always been an admirer of Ramsay Media and a fan of these magazine titles. When the opportunity presented itself to have an impact on their future, I knew it was an opportunity too good to pass on for Highbury,” said CEO Kevin Ferguson.
Ferguson said Caxton would retain a minority shareholding in the business. Caxton bought Ramsay Media in 2014, effectively blocking a bid by TMG (now Tiso Blackstar) to acquire the magazine publisher. Caxton, as a 30% shareholder, had pre-emptive rights to buy the Ramsay family’s 70%.
“The purchase includes Ramsay’s entire business. Ramsay will continue to sell its own advertising, independent from Highbury’s advertising sales,” Ferguson told The Media Online. No new appointments will be made at at his time, he added.
Highbury currently publishes a range of magazines including SA Rugby, SA Cricket, Equinox, Cape Etc, JSE and Club.
“This acquisition is exciting, not only for Highbury, but for the magazine publishing industry as a whole in South Africa and beyond. It’s a positive move, one of growth and opportunity in an industry which has seen so many magazine closures in the last few years,” he said.
Ferguson said it was still too early to comment on the future of the new magazines and plans for their development.
It’s an exciting announcement for Highbury and we look forward to working closely with the teams at Ramsay to build and grow together,” he said.