(NEW YORK, (May 22, 1997) -- VS&A Communications Partners II, LP, a $330 million private equity fund and an affiliate of the New York investment bank Veronis Suhler, has purchased Chemical Week Associates, publisher of Chemical Week magazine and an organizer of chemical industry trade conferences and trade shows worldwide. The seller was the O.V.P, a French company which is the largest international supplier of pharmaceutical information; O.V.P. first acquired an equity interest in the company in 1991.
"We believe that Chemical Week represents a powerful franchise around which we can build a strong platform for continued growth," said Jeffrey T. Stevenson, general partner and president of VS&A Communications Partners II, LP. "This is the oldest, most respected weekly news magazine in a strong segment of business publishing. We see an opportunity to build greater profitability through a combination of trade shows, industry conferences, newsletters and other business-to-business communications under the Chemical Week umbrella."
Chemical Week, published since 1914 has a weekly circulation of 33,000, directed at management-level readers within the $1.7 trillion chemical industry worldwide. Chemical Week Associates has developed a number of successful ventures tied to its core magazine business -- it expects to convene 13 industry conferences worldwide in 1997, in locales ranging from Bombay to Berlin, Rio de Janiero and Philadelphia.
The company also publishes 14 large-scale annual directories targeting key segments and global markets within the chemical industry. The titles, all of which are included in the acquisition by VS&A Communications Partners II, LP, include: China, Transportation, Chemical Traders, Environmental Services, and the ISO 9000/1400, which tracks manufacturing quality and environmental standards among chemical companies worldwide.
The most prominent stand-alone directory is the annual Chemical Week Buyers' Guide, published each October and regarded as the leading reference resource for the chemical industry. Chemical Week also publishes five newsletters and produces one of the few profitable industry web sites.
"Chemical Week has been highly profitable over a sustained period," said James Boddorf, a Veronis Suhler managing director in business-to-business communications who has served as an advisor to Chemical Week Associates since 1995. "Its profit margins and growth rate are well above average."
Mr. Stevenson said he expects no changes to be made in the day-to-day operations of Chemical Week. "We're committed to maintaining the magazine's leadership under publisher Michael Silber and editor-in-chief David Hunter," he noted, adding that Chemical Week has long been known for journalistic excellence.
Chemical Week publisher Michael Silber said he is enthusiastic about the magazine's prospects for major expansion in tandem with VS&A Communications Partners II, LP. "We're excited about our partnership with Veronis Suhler & Associates, and we're looking forward to further growth of our franchise, on the publishing side as well as through the acquisition and development of related periodicals, information resources and proprietary events," he said.
VS&A Communications Partners II, L.P. is actively searching for strategic add-ons for Chemical Week, including industry-related publications and trade shows, Mr. Boddorf said.
VS&A Communications Partners II, L.P. is a $330 million private equity fund formed in 1995 to invest solely in the communications industry, including content-based businesses ranging from consumer and business magazine and book publishing to broadcasting, cable television and business information services. With the acquisition of Chemical Week Associates, Veronis Suhler Communications Fund II, LP has committed over $100 million to six portfolio companies in the areas of radio broadcasting, cable television, business communications and business information services. VS&A Communications Partners II, LP, is affiliated with Veronis Suhler & Associates, the communications and media industry's leading investment bank. Since its founding by John Veronis and John Suhler in 1981, Veronis Suhler & Associates has completed 360 transactions with an aggregate value exceeding $20 billion.
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