Future plc is a British media company founded in 1985. It publishes more than 50 magazines in fields such as video games, technology, films, music, photography, home, and knowledge. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: FUTR|
|Industry||Magazine and internet publishing|
|Headquarters||Bath, England, UK|
(Chief Executive Officer)
|Revenue||£221.5 million (2019)|
|£52.2 million (2019)|
|£8.1 million (2019)|
The company was founded as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset, England, in 1985 by Chris Anderson with the sole magazine Amstrad Action. An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers, the first company to do so. It acquired GP Publications so establishing Future US in 1994. From 1995 to 1997, the company published Arcane, a magazine which largely focused on tabletop games.
Anderson sold Future to Pearson plc for £52.7m in 1994, but bought it back in 1998, with Future chief executive Greg Ingham and Apax Venture Partners, for £142m. The company was the subject of an initial public offering in 1999. Anderson left Future in 2001.
Future published the official magazines for the consoles of all three major games console manufacturers (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony); however PlayStation: The Official Magazine ceased publishing in November 2012, and Official Nintendo Magazine ceased publishing in October 2014.
The company had a period of shuttering print media properties in favour of digital media, closing many titles and selling off others. In January 2012, Future sold its U.S. consumer music magazines, including Guitar World and Revolver, to NewBay Media for $3 million. In April 2013, it completed the sale of major components of its UK media-music brands for £10.2 million to Team Rock Ltd. In September 2013 – but bought these back for £800,000 in 2017 after Team Rock went into administration.
Future announced it would cut 55 jobs from its UK operation as part of a restructuring to adapt "more effectively to the company's rapid transition to a primarily digital business model." The company announced in March 2014 that it would close all of its U.S.-based print publications and shift U.S. print support functions such as consumer marketing, production and editorial leadership for Future's international print brands to the UK. Later in 2014, Future sold its sport and craft titles to Immediate Media, and its auto titles to Kelsey Media.
In March 2014, it was announced that the company's CFO Zillah Byng-Thorne would become the company's fourth CEO in nine years on 1 April 2014 after Mark Wood, CEO since 2011, stepped down.
In 2016, Future started to expand its print and web portfolio through a series of acquisitions. It bought Blaze Publishing to diversify into the shooting market and acquired Noble House Media to increase its interest in telecoms media. Future then completed the purchase of rival specialist magazine publisher Imagine on 21 October 2016 after receiving approval from the Competition and Markets Authority. In 2018, Future made further major acquisitions. It bought the What Hi-Fi?, FourFourTwo, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome brands from Haymarket. Future acquired NewBay Media, publisher of numerous broadcast, professional video, and systems integration trade titles, as well as several consumer music magazines. (This acquisition returned most of the U.S. consumer music magazines to Future with the exception of Revolver which already sold to Project Group M LLC in 2017).
It completed the acquisition of U.S. B2C publisher Purch for $132m by September 2018. Future also purchased nextmedia computing and tech assets (including Atomic, Hyper, PC PowerPlay, and PC Tech & Authority) in the same month and incorporating PC PowerPlay articles into the online versions of PC Gamer.
In January 2019, Future sold some B2B brands to Datateam Media Group.
In February 2019, Future acquired Mobile Nations including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter for $115 million. Future also acquired ProCycling and CyclingNews.com from Immediate Media.
In July 2019, Future acquired SmartBrief (a digital media publisher of targeted business news and information) for an initial sum of $45 million.
In October 2019, Future announced the intent to acquire TI Media (41 brands including Decanter, Country Life, Wallpaper and Woman & Home) for £140 million. The acquisition completed on 21 April 2020 following shareholder and Competition and Markets Authority approval.
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- "Future acquires nextmedia brands including PC PowerPlay | Media Mergers". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
- "Australia, PC PowerPlay is now part of the PC Gamer family". pcgamer. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
- "Did something just happen?". Atomic πi. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
- Barton, Seth (2019-01-11). "Six of the UK's top B2B brands are now under new ownership". MCV. ISSN 1469-4832. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
- "Future : Acquisition of Mobile Nations".
- "Accelerates Mobile Nations earnout payment". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
- "Back to Future: Immediate sells CyclingNews and Procycling to Future plc, their previous owner". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
- "Acquisition of SmartBrief". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
- "Proposed Acquisition of TI Media for £140 million". otp.investis.com. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
- "Future US, Inc. Private Company Information". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
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