Leading publishing and events house Ocean Media Group has been acquired by its former owners in a private equity-backed deal arranged by Livingstone. Livingstone was appointed in late 2011 by Ocean’s holding company Mercury Equity and its senior lenders to facilitate a sale of the group.
Ocean was established in 2006 by David Moran and Dublin-based investor Ion Equity to acquire the exhibitions and magazines businesses of Trinity Mirror. The group was subsequently sold in 2007 to an MBI team. Almost five years after exiting Ocean, Moran and Ion Equity have stepped back into the business.
Ocean publishes a number of leading magazines and operates a range of very successful consumer and trade exhibitions – both in the UK and across continental Europe – focusing on the weddings/bridal and social housing sectors. It also organises numerous conferences, awards ceremonies and other face-to-face networking events.
Richard Fetterman, Partner at Livingstone London and head of the Media & Technology team, said: “Given the market environment, this was a challenging transaction but we are delighted to have worked with Mercury and its lenders to find a new home for the group within a tight timetable. The deliverability of the offers that we received was of paramount importance and David and Ion Equity’s familiarity with Ocean clearly gave them a unique insight into the business.”
Michael O’Donnell, Chairman of Mercury Equity, added: “I was very impressed by the Livingstone team’s professionalism and ability to mobilise quickly. They were totally committed to our cause and were by my side throughout a testing sale process.”