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22 May 2006

Exponent PE acquires Magicalia for £13m

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Exponent Private Equity today announces the £13m acquisition of Magicalia, a leading UK online publishing group which was launched in 1999 by joint managing directors Adam Laird and Jeremy Tapp.

Magicalia owns a portfolio of market-leading own brand sites and publishes community websites for a blue-chip list of media clients. It also operates an ecommerce platform for specialist mail-order retail clients.

It publishes websites in specialist fields ranging from sports sites such as http://www.Bikemagic.com, http://www.Golfmagic.com and http://www.Fishingmagic.com, through to electronics and parenting sites such as GadgetCentre.com, AVReview.co.uk and http://www.ThinkBaby.co.uk.

Magicalia provides community websites through its Magicalia Publishing Service (MPS) for companies such as National Magazine Co. and Circle Publishing. This contract publishing portfolio includes http://www.RunnersWorld.co.uk, http://www.DiveMagazine.co.uk and http://www.Earthscan.co.uk.

Its ecommerce business, Magicalia Commerce Service (MCS) operates 19 retail sites for clients selling golf, cycling, fishing and hi-fi equipment, all of which integrate fully with Magicalia's published websites.

The London-based business currently employs 40 people and produces over 40 websites in total.

The vendors, which include Matrix Private Equity and Atlas Venture, were advised by Paul Slight, partner at Fusion Corporate Partners LLP.

The Exponent team commented, “This is a strategic investment, and the first of a series of acquisitions we plan to make in order to create a larger group including both online and traditional publishing groups and titles.”

Adam Laird, joint managing director, Magicalia, said, “We are very pleased to have completed this deal and are looking forward to the challenge of developing the company further and building a larger group which will enable us to maximise the potential of the business.”