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Highbury House Sees CEO Departure, Sale

Highbury House Sees CEO Departure, Sale

January 5, 2006 | By Simon Carless

January 5, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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The UK-based magazine company Highbury House, which includes a number of video game magazines such as GamesTM and XBM, has announced that it is up for sale, following the resignation of its CEO over the holiday period.

Highbury is the only significant game magazine competitor to Future Publishing in the British Isles, but is company is currently wrestling with debts of around 29.5m ($52.1 million), and with the departure of major investor and CEO Kelvin MacKenzie, it seems that any rescue plan or wholesale acquisition for the company as a going concern may be tricky.

The official statement to the City from Highbury reads: "Following the departure of Kelvin MacKenzie as Chairman and Chief Executive of the Company, a review of the Group's activities has been carried out and the Board has concluded, with the agreement of the Company's lenders, that the trading activities of the Group should be put up for sale immediately. The Company's lenders continue to be supportive of the Group."

Earlier in 2005, Highbury was the subject of a takeover bid by rival and dominant UK video game magazine publisher Future Publishing in early 2005, but following a possible monopoly investigation by UK authorities, withdrew its bid for the game magazines, opting instead to acquire 38 other Highbury titles unrelated to games.

Highbury's statement concluded with the downbeat, noting: "Shareholders should be aware that, owing to the level of the Company's indebtedness and other liabilities, following any sale of the trading activities in the Group it is highly unlikely that there will be any value attributable to the equity in the Company."

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