Lord Ashcroft acquires Holyrood Magazine
Holyrood Magazine, the Edinburgh-based political publication, has been acquired by Political Holdings, the UK-based media group bankrolled by businessman and pollster Lord Ashcroft.
The £4.5m deal with Merit Group, the data and intelligence business, includes a range of media, events and training operations.
The Political Holdings group currently consists of Biteback Publishing, Campaigns & Elections and ConservativeHome, the news and analysis site.
The acquisition will bring these brands together with news website PoliticsHome; professional publications Civil Service World, Training Journal and PublicTechnology; and a wide range of events currently operated under the Dods brand.
Political Holdings is owned by Lord Ashcroft, international businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster. His many, varied business interests include significant investments and participation in both public and private companies in the UK, US and the Caribbean.
In 2012, he was appointed a member of the Privy Council and was made the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition, working with all departments to ensure military personnel receive the support they need when making the transition to civilian life. He stepped down from this role in 2018. He supports a wide range of charities, including those dealing with crime prevention and education.
Lord Ashcroft is a substantial shareholder in Merit Group. The acquisition therefore constitutes a related party transaction for Merit Group plc under the AIM Rules.
Mark Wallace, chief executive of Political Holdings, said: “This deal opens an exciting new era for us and for the brands which will be joining our group.
“Political Holdings specialises in insightful, expert content and events that illuminate politics, government and the democratic process, so the operations we are acquiring are a natural fit for our growing business.
“The resulting group will have great potential to grow each of its constituent parts further and faster, combining our existing expertise with a host of new perspectives, covering a diverse range of issues and institutions, and maintaining the political neutrality of the acquired brands.
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming and working with our new colleagues.”
The acquisition is expected to complete in the current calendar year.
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