Chris Ferrell

Less than a year after acquiring B2B publisher PennWell Corp. as part of a bid to expand its presence in the United States, London-based trade show producer Clarion Events has divested some 20-plus PennWell media brands and related events considered incidental to its future plans.

The buyer, once again, is Nashville-based Endeavor Business Media, the private equity-backed publisher that has amassed more than 40 print and digital B2B media brands and nearly 400 employees in nine separate acquisitions since its formation by former SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell a year ago (more on Endeavor’s previous deals here, here and here).

Endeavor “jumped at the chance,” says Ferrell, to acquire the former PennWell brands, which span multiple industries including oil/gas, industrial technology and dentistry, among others, several of which—such as Offshore magazine, Oil & Gas Journal and WaterWorld—present clear synergies with other media brands and events in Endeavor’s portfolio (scroll down for the full list).

“Since Clarion acquired us last March, we have been working diligently on the transition, which included a deliberate plan to find a good home for PennWell businesses in markets that were not central to Clarion’s future goals,” said Mark Wilmoth, PennWell’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Endeavor’s first acquisition of 2019 and its largest to date, the deal was funded by the private equity firm Resolute Capital Partners—which has backed the company since last May—as well as Nashville-based FirstBank.

The Nashville Post [paywall] adds that local investor Townes Duncan—who until late 2016 had been managing partner at SouthComm’s former VC backer Solidus—also invested in the deal through his new investment fund, Invergarry Holdings.

Ferrell closed 2018 by acquiring California-based Forester Media, whose events and trade magazines are mostly focused on the water utilities space, as well as Vendome Group’s Healthcare Informatics, before merging that brand with Health Management Technology to form a new title, Healthcare Innovation, last month.

“We are very pleased with the progress the Endeavor team is making toward building an outstanding portfolio of event and media properties,” added Resolute Capital partner Caroline Ducas.

Below is the full list of properties acquired in the deal, as provided by Endeavor:

Oil & Gas Group

  • Offshore magazine
  • Oil & Gas Journal
  • Oil, Gas & Petrochem Equipment

    • Related digital properties and newsletters, including Oil & Gas Financial Journal and PennEnergy
    • Related events businesses, including Subsea Tieback Forum, Deepwater Operations and Topsides, Offshore Wind Executive Summit and the Petroleum Network Education Conference

Industrial Technology Group

  • BioOptics World
  • Cabling and Installation Maintenance
  • Industrial Laser Solutions
  • The Intelligent Aerospace Network
  • Laser Focus World
  • LEDs magazine
  • Military and Aerospace Electronics 
  • Vision Systems Design

    • Digital-only publications Broadband Technology Report and Lightwave
    • Related events Laser and Phototonics Marketplace Seminar, Strategies in Light/Sapphire Awards and the Horticultural Lighting Conference

Dentistry Group

  • Dental Economics
  • Registered Dental Hygenist magazine

    • Digital properties Dentistry IQ, Perio-Implant Advisory, a series of related e-newsletters and two events businesses

Water and Utility Group

  • WaterWorld
  • Industrial WaterWorld
  • Utility Products magazine
  • Digital-only Water and Wastewater International

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Endeavor Business Media Buys Several PennWell Titles from Clarion Events