The London-listed owner of Cult Beauty in talks to buy City AM
The London-listed online health and beauty retailer, THG, is in advanced talks to acquire City AM, the London-based business newspaper, through a pre-pack administration. THG, which owns brands such as Cult Beauty and Look Fantastic, is negotiating the purchase of City AM with BDO, the accountancy firm handling its insolvency. The deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday afternoon, according to City sources.
THG is expected to pay “a small seven-figure sum” for City AM’s assets, including its brand and website. The company has also agreed to meet the payroll obligations for the approximately 40 staff who work at City AM. The acquisition of City AM by THG is seen as an opportunity to provide THG’s Ingenuity digital brand-building and e-commerce platform with access to City AM’s financially literate audience. This move also highlights the changing landscape of traditional media ownership.
THG has been exploring opportunities to acquire titles in recent years to expand its content and audience reach. The company plans to launch an app for City AM and continue printing the newspaper, which is distributed at commuter hubs across London and the home counties. The deal is also expected to support the expansion of THG Experiences by aligning them with events run by City AM.
City AM, which has a daily print run of 70,000 and an audited circulation of just over 67,000, has been searching for a buyer to secure its future. A pre-pack sale, in which administrators are appointed to a company prior to an immediate sale of some of its assets, is now the only viable option. The newspaper’s website has up to two million monthly unique visitors, and its latest circulation figure is only 10,000 lower than pre-pandemic figures.
City AM’s appointment of insolvency practitioners and immediate sale comes as The Daily Telegraph, its Sunday sister, and The Spectator prepare to be put up for sale by receivers appointed by Lloyds Banking Group last month.
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