Tips for Evaluating and Profiting From Acquistions
Last month, Hanley Wood acquired Alexander and Edwards (A&E),
a San Francisco-based publisher of two housing finance magazines (see news brief on p. 25). The purchase rounds out Hanley Wood’s portfolio of housing publications and conferences. Hanley Wood Magazines President Peter Goldstone discussed the deal with Publishing Executive and shared his philosophies on acquisitions within the publishing industry.
Publishing Executive: Peter, can you describe what goes into the acquisition process from your company’s end as the buyer?
Peter Goldstone: First and foremost, [you ask]: is [the company] a strategic fit? Does the entity we’re pursuing help us fulfill a strategic imperative that the company would have for growth?
For example, we dominate the residential construction space through Hanley Wood. However, a few years ago, we identified that we really didn’t have a media platform for the multi-family market. Most of our publications, conferences and Web sites address the single-family market, both new construction and remodeling. But we had a gap in the multi-family space. … So it was imperative that we look for a media entity that would fulfill that strategic imperative, so we went out and bought Multifamily Executive a few years back.
Once we had that platform, we looked at ways to expand it and came across these Alexander and Edwards properties, which serve the information requirements for people interested in housing finance, particularly on the multi-family side. This was a natural extension of that multi-family platform.
So first and foremost, does it fill a strategic imperative? Secondly, are the media platforms representative of the type of quality standards that we have here at Hanley Wood? Do they have dominant share of mind? If they do, that’s great. If they don’t, do we feel that we can enhance those properties to get them to a representative place?