Imagine Publishing, the UK-based magazine company which produces game titles Retro Gamer, 360, and Cheat Machine, in addition to a handful of non-gaming magazines, has acquired Play Magazine and GamesTM from troubled UK magazine publisher Highbury Entertainment, according to an official trading statement.
The remainder of Highbury's portfolio, all of its non-gaming publications, was purchased by Future
in May 2005, following a failed attempt to acquire the entire company. Highbury has recently found itself in dire straits, following the delisting of its stock
and the resignation of its CEO
, leading directly to the asset sale.
The gaming titles were part of Highbury House Communication's Highbury Entertainment subsidiary, which also included Advanced Photoshop, iCreate, and Digital Photographer. Imagine purchased the subsidiary outright and now has the rights to all five of the publications, which complement its existing tech-focused stable. The details of the transaction were not disclosed, but funding for the move came partly from a new 7 million pound ($12.3 million USD) investment in Imagine Publishing from Kleinwort Capital.
"This is an extremely important acquisition for Imagine and it helps us to not only develop an already exciting business, but also stimulate further substantial growth," said Imagine marketing director Damian Butt in a statement reported on by UK trade mag MCV. "Kleinwort’s involvement and support throughout has been first class and, with this deal, Imagine immediately becomes the second largest video games publisher in the UK, a market set for explosive growth in 2006/2007."