Also introduced to the deal was Jill Williams, whose role as incoming finance director will lead to John Gould, Amanda Barnes’ brother, retiring as finance director and chairman.Faversham House Group has completed a £4m management buy-out that will boost the company's expansion plans.
Faversham, a family-owned business, publishes business-to-business magazines such as Utility Week, Heating & Ventilating Review, DIY Week and Europe’s largest environmental website, edie.net.
Headquartered in Croydon, it employs more than 100 people and has a turnover of about £10m.
Faversham was formed by Vic Gould in 1960 and the senior management and staff included four other members of the Gould family. Following the buyout, chief executive Amanda Barnes will run the business with fellow directors Chris Trayers and Carl Myers.
Members of the Gould family have reinvested and Matrix Private Equity Partners has invested £1.75m and will take a significant minority stake. Matrix introduced entrepreneur Bob Fairchild, who will join as chairman.
Barnes told Insider she had ambitious growth targets. The business will be looking to grow organically and by acquisition, with a view to beating pre-recession levels of business.Chris Price, investment manager of Matrix, led the deal and becomes a director of Faversham.
Also involved in the deal was Kent-based Meta Corporate Finance. Peter Counsell, director of Meta, advised on the development of the business plan, its presentation to potential funding parties and helped negotiate with the other family shareholders.
Counsell said: “Faversham is a highly regarded business that is well-placed to capitalise on the growth opportunities available in its sectors.”
Legal advisers to Faversham were Duncan Macintosh, Marlies Hoecherl and Tom Kelleher at Capital Law.
“The deal allows more flexibility to take considered risks. We'll be taking much more of a market approach than a media approach, looking at what our markets want and delivering information in the most appropriate manner, whether in print, online, or via mobile or other digital media.”Barnes is optimistic about the prospects for print-based advertising. “There'll be a place for print for a long time to come. Print advertising is perceived by readers as a non-threatening form of information. It's an antidote to the tyranny of the screen.”
Barnes said the family ethos of the company would not change, but there would be a “bolder” approach to risk.