Grant Thornton advises Gold Key Media Gold Key Media has been sold to Frontline Limited.

October 2017
Gold Key Media
Adviser to Gold Key Media on their sale to Frontline
Grant Thornton team
Sell side
Corporate finance
Flag of the United Kingdom

We are delighted to have advised Gold Key Media on their sale to Frontline Limited.

We have advised Hearst UK and Condé Nast Publications, in their capacity as the 65%/35% shareholders of Condé Nast and National Magazine Distributors Limited (COMAG), on the carve-out and sale of Gold Key Media to Frontline Limited. 

Chris Horn founded Gold Key Media in 2001 and, alongside Duncan MacGillivray, has grown the business into the world’s largest provider of print and digital media to the hotel, events and travel industries. Following the acquisition by COMAG in 2008, Gold Key now represents over 200 international publishers and managers over 60 million newspaper and magazines copies annually.  

The transaction forms part of a managed wind-down of the wider COMAG business, a process for which we are also providing the Shareholders with restructuring and corporate advisory, modelling and tax services. 

Identified as an asset with significant growth potential, Gold Key’s sale was pursued with a view to enable its further expansion, and to allow the Shareholders to continue to benefit from the valuable dynamic distribution and marketing services it provides to them.  

We ran a full, competitive marketing process, managing the due diligence process and, alongside the SPA Advisory team, providing input on commercial terms.  

The transaction generated significant interest from the publishing and distribution community and presented the Shareholders with a number of viable offers, with Frontline ultimately viewed as the most attractive partner for the Gold Key business and its future prospects. 

The sale is seen as a resounding success for all parties with Gold Key set to benefit from Frontline’s extensive distribution networks and its close relationships with publisher shareholders Bauer Media, Immediate Media and Haymarket.  

“The Grant Thornton team provided us with pragmatic and seamless corporate finance advice through a challenging M&A process that had added complexities of the carve-out. They handled the stakeholder expectations by leveraging their extensive deal and sector experience. The service provided was seamless and they delivered a successful outcome which met the objectives of the Shareholders, the incumbent Management team and the wider COMAG wind-down project. I would recommend Grant Thornton highly as a firm that provides high quality responsive and robust advice to its clients.”
Charlotte Macleod Managing Director, COMAG