The sale is expected to ensure the continued publication of titles including Road Cycling UK, Total Women’s Cycling, Dirt Mountain Bike, Mpora, Whitelines and Cooler. The move has saved a number of high-level jobs, according to IP valuation firm Metis Partners, which said the assets sold for a substantial six-figure sum.
Internet Fusion, founded in 2006, acquired Surfdome last year and confirmed that it is keeping “as many titles as possible” but will focus on those with a heritage and name in the UK. The IFG Media Division, which will include former Factory Media titles, will be housing in the offices in Shoreditch.
Martin Brailsford, of Internet Fusion, said: “As soon as we were aware of the opportunity to acquire the IP of Factory Media we could see the great strategic fit with our current network of e-commerce websites. It gives us and our key partners the ability to give back to the customers who buy our products through providing rich, immersive content in something they are passionate about. Completing the purchase in a timely manner whilst also safe guarding jobs was key.
“We look forward to developing further the IP assets of Factory Media as part of the Internet Fusion family, and to ensuring continuity for the 5 million readers of its specialist publications.”
Since incorporation in 2006, Factory Media established its presence in global media market through acquisitions of outdoor sport and adventure publications, pivoting in 2015 to focus on the provision of online content.
Factory Media’s administrator, Michael Chamberlain, said: “Despite the financial problems that Factory Media had experienced I immediately recognised that the key to having a chance of preserving some jobs and achieving a return to creditors was to dispose of the IP. Having worked with Metis before, I appreciated the expertise its team would bring to the disposal process.”
Insolvency practitioner Chamberlain & Co engaged Metis Partners to assess the IP, market and sell the IP.
Aylin Dzhafer, Senior Manager, Corporate Recovery & Restructuring at Metis Partners, said: “The swift sale of Factory Media’s IP has generated a feel-good factor. We were able to preserve both key jobs and IP value in this extensive digital real estate.”
Stephen Robertson, Founder of Metis Partners, added: “The idea of taking a highly specialist B2C retailer and combining that with a subscriber base loyal to specialist digital content in the same sectors makes perfect sense. It’s a clever strategy opening up a new channel to market for them and is a great story amongst the doom and gloom of retail!”