Mark Allen Group to acquire Farmers Weekly

Mergers & Acquisitions | South East

Mark Allen Group (MAG) has announced its intention to acquire the 85-year old weekly Farmers Weekly.

Reed Business Information Ltd (RBI), part of RELX, has agreed to sell the brand to MA Agriculture, a new company created by MAG to house Farmers Weekly.

The portfolio includes magazine brand Farmers Weekly, community website and online trading platforms on FWi.com, a growing events portfolio including the Farmers Weekly Awards, newsletters and social media platforms supporting these publishing activities.

Farmers Weekly has been at the heart of the British farming industry since its launch in 1934. Today it has a circulation of nearly 42,000, with more than 26,000 subscribers.

RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. This transaction does not include the agricultural connectivity, workflow, data and analytics business Proagrica, and reflects RELX’s continuing strategic priority of focusing on its data and analytics business.

MAG, which employs 434 staff, has been rapidly expanding over the past decade. It currently boasts 100 magazines in 12 different sectors and organises up to 250 events, exhibitions and awards every year.

It has a turnover of £51m and this will be its third acquisition in the past 12 months. In 2019 MAG acquired 12 magazines, mainly in aviation and auto, from UKi Media and Events, as well as The Engineer and its Subcon exhibition from Centaur Media.

Mark Allen, the founder and chairman of MAG, said: “This really is a dream come true for me. I grew up in Somerset and my father was a concrete manufacturer working daily with farmers, so I know farmers and Farmers Weekly well. When I worked for RBI many years ago Farmers Weekly was regarded as the very top of the publishing mountain both inside and outside the company. I can’t believe it is coming home so to speak. It represents the summit of our acquisition strategy. In future we will be looking to more organic growth, rather than acquisition, as our main focus.”

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