Ion Equity

Ocean Media Group

Ocean Media is a UK specialist magazines publisher and exhibitions organizer for trade and consumer markets.  It is the clear UK leader in each of its key markets: social housing, weddings and leisure.

Ocean Media was established by Ion Equity in July 2006 to acquire the magazines and exhibitions businesses of Trinity Mirror plc for £41m.  The acquisition was in an exclusive, off-market process which facilitated a quick sale for Trinity Mirror and a fair price for Ion Equity.

Under Ion Equity’s ownership, the business grew earnings substantially from 2006 to 2007 and executed a number of strategic bolt-on acquisitions which established a European platform for the company’s future growth.

The company was sold in November 2007 to AAC Capital Partners, a UK private equity firm, for £104m. The sale generated a substantial return to investors, far in excess of base case expectations, within only 16 months.

Following its sale in 2007, Ocean Media faced a challenging trading period following a change of management team by the new owners and predictable erosion in some of its print advertising income streams.

Ulric Kenny led a rescue of the business in 2011, working with some of the original management team in acquiring the business from its lenders. Following an intensive turnaround effort, the business was put back on to a solid growth footing. The business was sold to Lonsdale Capital Partners in October 2015, generating a strong return for investors.