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Fusion Deal - Incisive Media sell Legal Week to ALM Inc

Incisive Media‘s Legal Week, a U.K.-based business-to-business publisher, has been sold to ALM. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Incisive Media. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

ALM, which publishes The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal and other legal and business publications including and The Am Law Daily, said that the deal is its fourth acquisition since the company was purchased by the private equity firm Wasserstein & Co. in July 2014.

“This acquisition is an important next step as we expand our offerings into key international markets,” said Bill Carter, CEO of ALM. “Legal Week has a strong audience base in Europe and Asia, and an impressive collection of industry events.”

Legal Week has shared the same corporate umbrella as ALM before. In 2007, Incisive bought ALM from Wasserstein & Co. for $630 million.

Two years later, Incisive defaulted on its debt amid the global financial crisis, prompting the company’s lenders, private equity firm Apax Partners and The Royal Bank of Scotland, to take control of ALM. At the time, Legal Week remained part of Incisive, and the London-based company has been in ongoing talks with RBS and other lenders about reorganizing its debt. (Legal Week reported last year that Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer had London-based Macfarlanes had lead advisory roles in Incisive’s refinancing.)

In 2014, Apax and RBS sold ALM back to Wasserstein & Co. for a reported $417 million. Later that year ALM acquired Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory, and ALM then paid another $40 million in early 2015 to buy legal and insurance publisher Summit Professional Networks. Last summer, ALM agreed to acquire China Law & Practice from Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC for an undisclosed sum.

ALM’s president of legal media, Lenny Izzo, said the company is not planning additional acquisitions at this time, though it isn’t ruling out the idea. He said no layoffs were planned as a result of the Legal Week acquisition, adding that the move was “about strengthening our position in key markets, rather than realizing cost reductions.”

Like many media companies, ALM has seen recent reductions in staff. In April, the company filed a notice with the state of New York indicating that 61 staffers would be laid off between July and September.

Over the last four years, the legal news industry has reorganized amid a series of deals.

In 2011, Bloomberg LP bought The Bureau of National Affairs, a private information provider for clients in government, business and academia, for $990 million. The following year, LexisNexis paid $150 million to purchase Portfolio Media, the parent company of Law360. Meanwhile, the legal magazine California Lawyer closed its doors in October.

For its acquisition of Legal Week, ALM was advised by Jones Day, which has a long-standing client relationship with Wasserstein & Co. Jones Day advised the private equity firm when it initially bought ALM in 1997 and when it sold ALM a decade later. Incisive was advised by the London-based firm Macfarlanes.

Aside from publishing legal news and analysis, Legal Week organizes events, including Legal Week Private Client Forum, Trust & Estates Litigation Forum and Strategic Technology Forum, among others.

Legal Week and Incisive were represented by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion Corporate Partners (UK) Limited.

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