Ascend acquires Medical World
Ascend Media reported Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Medical World Communications, tripling its size and vaulting into the big leagues of medical publishing with titles like Physician's Money Digest and Cardiology Review.
No financial terms of the transaction were reported. The parties to the transaction expect a closing to take place within 30-60 days.
Medical World founder, chairman and chief executive Jack Hennessy, who held a 30 percent stake in the company, is stepping down, despite an August vow to stay on after the sale. Ascend president and chief executive Cam Bishop will lead the combined company.
Brokered by Evercore Partners, the sale will see Ascend relieve Medical World's majority-owner, Boston-based Great Hill Partners, of all its interest in the company. The move, coming just weeks after Ascend's acquisition of CME shop SynerMed Communications and Exhibitor Visibility Worldwide, gives the Overland Park, Kansas-based company revenues of roughly $150 million. The company is financially backed by private equity firms J.P. Morgan Partners and Veronis Suhler Stevenson.
Medical World publishes 50 healthcare, retail, food and beverage titles and operates a healthcare marketing agency, Practice Builders. Medical World ranks fifth among medical publishers by revenue. In 2003, the company agreed to pay the government $3.7 million to settle charges of mail fraud stemming from a whistleblower case alleging padding of circulation numbers on 11 titles prior to their acquisition by Medical World.
Ascend was founded in 2002 by Cam Bishop and two of his colleagues from Intertec Publishing, which was absorbed into Primedia. The firm also owns a stable of gaming trade titles, Pro AV, Expo, SynerMed subsidiary IMED Communications and an events media division.