Veronis Suhler Promotes Eight Key Professionals as Media Merchant Bank Marks 20th Anniversary
New Appointments Come to Both Investment Bank and Private Equity Affiliate
Andrew J. Buchholtz and Kathleen Y. Thomas Named Managing Directors
Christopher J. Russell and Jonathan D. Drucker Named Principals
New York --March 12, 2001-- New York media merchant bank Veronis Suhler has made a number of senior promotions in its investment banking operations and its private equity affiliate, VS&A Communications Partners.
The moves reflect the dynamic growth of the firm as it marks its 20th anniversary. Founded in 1981 by publishing industry executives John J. Veronis and John S. Suhler, Veronis Suhler is today a leading independent merchant bank exclusively dedicated to the media, communications, and information industries. VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, headed by President and Managing General Partner Jeffrey T. Stevenson, launched in 1999 with $1 billion in capital. It is one of the largest private equity funds focused on communications industry investments.
Veronis Suhler & Associates LLC is headed by Executive President James P. Rutherfurd, who conducts the firmís investment banking business. Veronis Suhler International Limited is co-headed by Nigel Stapleton and Marco Sodi, who conduct the firmís international business from its offices in London.
Veronis Suhler has more than 125 professionals in its investment banking and private equity operations, with headquarters in New York and a London affiliate.
"We are pleased to begin our twentieth season by making a number of significant promotions within the firm," said John J.Veronis, chairman and co-chief executive of Veronis Suhler and a founding general partner of VS&A Communications Partners. "It is satisfying to know that many of our professionals have come of age with the firm."
Here is a review of the promotions announced:
Andrew J. Buchholtz, named Managing Director, joined Veronis Suhler in 1995, to focus on a variety of domestic and international transactions and advisory assignments. Mr. Buchholtz focuses on consumer and trade magazine publishing and expositions, directory publishing and related new media transactions. In 1997 Mr. Buchholtz was promoted to director. During his tenure, Mr. Buchholtz has worked on the successful sale of the Zuckerman Groupís Fast Company magazine to Gruner + Jahr USA; the sale of Time Warnerís Little, Brown Professional Publishing Group, Inc. to Wolters Kluwer US Corporation; the formation of a 50-50 joint-venture between Liberis Publications of Greece and Edipresse, S.A. of Switzerland; the sale of Ehlert Publishing Group, Inc. to Affinity Group, Inc.; the sale of New Woman magazine by K-III Communications Corp. (PRIMEDIA) to Rodale Press, Inc.; the sale of Natural Health magazine to Weider Publications, Inc.; Universal Mediaís sale of Travel Agent magazine to Advanstar Communications, Inc.; and the purchase of American Woodworker by the Readerís Digest Association. Mr. Buchholtz previously served as Vice President of Business Development at PRIMEDIA Special Interest Publications.
Kathleen Y. Thomas, also named Managing Director, joined Veronis Suhler in 1994 and has been involved in transactions across virtually all media segments, with responsibility for business valuations and analysis, marketing strategy, due diligence, and transaction process management. In 1997, Ms. Thomas became a director, specializing in business-to-business publishing and trade shows. She has been instrumental in the successful completion of 32 transactions including the recent sales of Asset Alternatives to Wicks Business Media and Mealey Publications and Conferences to LEXIS-NEXIS, as well as the merger of Live On Line with Digital Island, Inc. Ė a major transaction in the multimedia network and e-business transaction support space. Other recent transactions include representing Hanley-Wood in the acquisition of the Surfaces trade show from the World Floor Covering Association, representing the sellers in the sales of Telecom Business Conference & Expo and Telecom Business and Telecard World magazines to PRIMEDIAíS Intertec, Penton Press to R.R. Donnelley & Sons, The Larkin Group to Advanstar, The Editor & Publisher Company to BPI Communications, and SoftWorld conferences and expos to Imark Communications. Other transactions include the $130 million sale of Telecom Library (Computer Telephony magazine and expo) to Miller Freeman and the merger of Database America Companies with American Business Information Ė a major transaction in the database marketing industry.
Christopher J. Russell, named Principal of VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, joined Veronis Suhler in 1995 and has been involved in all media segments in which Veronis Suhlerís investment bank and private equity funds are active. Working from the firmís London affiliate, Veronis Suhler International Limited, Mr. Russell is responsible for originating, developing, financing, and executing International investment opportunities. At Veronis Suhler, Mr. Russell has been active in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and monitoring, corporate finance transactions, and fair-market valuations and fairness opinions. He played a key role in Fund IIIís first investment, Hanley-Wood, LLC, in 1999 as well as in Fund IIIís first European investment, ITE Group Plc, in 2000. He has recently completed International and US advisory assignments for clients such as Gruner + Jahr UK, Readerís Digest, Cendant, Centaur Communications, and i-traffic. Mr. Russell joined Veronis Suhler in 1995 as Director of Research, and was promoted to Director, focusing on both M&A and private equity activity, in 1997.
Jonathan D. Drucker, assumes the role of a Fund Principal and will continue to serve as General Counsel for Veronis Suhler and VS&A Communications Partners, a position he has held since 1999. Mr. Drucker, a corporate lawyer with extensive experience in media and communications transactions, plays an integral role in shaping Veronis Suhlerís private equity activities by providing advice on the structure of transactions and participating in investment negotiations conducted by VS&A Communications Partners and its various portfolio companies involving mergers, acquisitions, financings, and joint venture transactions. Prior to joining Veronis Suhler, Mr. Drucker spent 11 years with the New York law firm of Rubin Baum Levin Constant & Friedman, where he was made partner in 1995. He began his legal career as an associate with the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Mr. Drucker received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1985 and graduated magna cum laude in 1982 from the University of Pennsylvania.
Tabitha P. Sam, a new Director of VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, principally focuses on business information investments. Prior to joining Veronis Suhler in 1999, Ms. Sam was employed by Dresdner Kleinwort Benson where she advised on transactions aggregating total enterprise value in excess of $6 billion. Miss Sam was actively involved in Fund IIIís acquisition of HCIA Inc. (now Solucient LLC) and Data Transmission Network, and retains monitoring responsibility for both companies. Miss Sam earned an AB degree in Political Economy from Duke University and graduated magna cum laude.
J. Morgan Callagy has been promoted to Director in the firmís London affiliate to focus on both the firmís principal and advisory activities across all segments of media. He joined Veronis Suhler as an analyst in the companyís mergers & acquisitions and private equity analyst program in August of 1996, after spending a year in portfolio management at Ark Asset Management. Mr. Callagy was instrumental in several acquisitions by Fund IIís Yellow Book USA and in the subsequent sale of Yellow Book to British Telecommunications in 1999 for $665 million. Mr. Callagy played a key role in both Fund IIís investment in Centaur Communications, a UK business-to-business communications company, and Fund IIIís $45 million investment in ITE Group Plc, one of the leading exhibition organizers in the UK. Mr. Callagy has been involved in several sell-side valuation and corporate finance related transactions at Veronis Suhler for companies across media segments. Mr. Callagy will continue to focus his efforts on the European media marketplace. Mr. Callagy holds a BA in History from Georgetown University.
Daniel S. Fox, also promoted to Director, joined Veronis Suhler in 1998 and has been involved in more than 12 closed buy-side and sell-side transactions, primarily involving business information and specialty media companies. During his time at Veronis Suhler, Mr. Fox has been instrumental in the sales of Competitive Media Reporting to Taylor Nelson, Interactive Bureau to Circle.com, BARRA Global Estimates to Multex.com, as well as the merger of Imagine Media with Future Publishing, publicly valued at more than $1 billion. Prior to joining Veronis Suhler, Mr. Fox performed Mergers & Acquisitions advisory services for Berkery, Noyes & Co. Mr. Fox holds an AB in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Veronis Suhler (www.vss.com) is a leading independent merchant bank dedicated to the media, communications, and information industries. Since its formation in 1981, the firm has acted as a financial advisor across the full spectrum of media industry segments including Broadcasting, Cable & Entertainment; Newspaper Publishing; Consumer Magazines; Business Information Services; Consumer, Professional & Educational Books; Business-to-Business Communications; Specialty Media & Marketing Services; and the Internet.
VS&A Communications Partners III, LP ("Fund III") portfolio companies include Hanley-Wood, a leading business-to-business publisher and communications company serving the residential construction industry; Solucient, a prominent aggregator of clinical and marketing information for the health care industry; Data Transmission Network, which provides proprietary news and information services for the energy, financial, agriculture and weather markets; and Phillips Business Information, Inc., a full-service business media company known for its trade magazines, conferences and business information services. The Fund recently invested approximately $33.3 million in private equity financing for Ionex Telecommunications, Inc., and recently announced that it had taken a minority stake in London-based ITE, one of the leading trade show organizers in Europe.