Like some of my counterparts at rival UK construction collaboration vendors, I have enjoyed working with one-time marketing director (now strategy and development director) Ross Sturley and his colleagues at Emap Construct, publisher of trade papers Construction News, New Civil Engineer and Architects’ Journal (among others) and past organiser of ‘project extranet’ conferences.
I was therefore interested to read a weekend newspaper report in the Guardian suggesting that parent company Emap might be broken down and sold off, with magazines and events group United Business Media seen as a potential bidder for Emap’s business-to-business assets. Today, the same paper reports that private equity group Apax Partners could also be in the running with a £1.3 billion bid.
“Emap’s business-to-business unit, which incorporates its trade magazines and organises conferences and events, is seen as the group’s star division. It accounted for 32% of revenues and 45% of profits last year.”
If United Business Media was to bid, it would see Emap’s construction interests brought together alongside UBM subsidiary CMP, publisher of rival UK trade magazine Building and other journals, creating something approaching a monopoly of UK construction publications – with only Reed (home of Contract Journal) offering any real competition.