Target: ALM Media
Price: More than $500 million
Sponsor: Apax Partners
Financial Adviser: Jefferies
ALM Media, backed by private equity firm Apax Partners, has hired investment bank Jefferies to assist with efforts to sell the company, whose magazines are popular among U.S. lawyers and legal professionals, the sources told sister news service Reuters.
The first round of interest from potential bidders began in April, said another person familiar with the process, who added the buyer likely would be another private equity firm.
ALM, which sponsors conferences and owns legal and real estate publications and sites including the American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, New York Law Journal and Law.com, was sold to Apax in 2007 for $630 million through the private equity firm’s portfolio company, UK-based Incisive Media Ltd. Apax later split up Incisive Media, keeping control of the ALM business while turning over the rest of the company to lenders including the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.
ALM Media, Apax and Jefferies declined to comment.
ALM’s owners are putting the company on the block following the sales of other legal news and analysis companies. Bloomberg LP bought BNA for about $1 billion in 2011 and Reed Elsevier’s LexisNexis snapped up Law360 in 2012 for an undisclosed sum. Thomson Reuters, the publisher of Buyouts, which competes with Reed and Bloomberg, bought Practical Law Company, which provides expert services to legal professionals.
Still, ALM is heading to the auction block at time when the legal community is cutting costs and headcount. ALM also had to trim from its ranks and last year cut about 35 positions or about 7 percent of its workforce, according to reports at the time.
ALM Media generates about $55 million in annual EBITDA and could fetch about 10 times that amount, said the sources, who requested anonymity because the matter is private.
ALM, which in January 2005 changed its name from American Lawyer Media, was formed by U.S. Equity Partners LP, a private equity fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co.
Olivia Oran and Greg Roumeliotis are correspondents for Reuters in New York. Additional reporting by Jennifer Saba and Liana Bakers.