Aussies sell daily news site to the US

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Aussie media & advertising news site Mumbrella, a similar business to M+AD (but far bigger), has just been sold. The sales price was not revealed – but M+AD estimates it at around A$7 million.

The news announcement on the Mumbrella site here was widely praised in subsequent reader postings, mainly for the candour of co-founder Tim Burrowes.

“Let’s not use the weasel words you sometimes see used by companies that get bought,” Burrowes wrote. “I’m not going to use terms like ‘releasing a strategic stake’ We’ve sold the company. We signed the paperwork this morning.

“The new owner of Mumbrella – and our new boss – is a family-owned American company you probably haven’t heard of called Diversified Communications [scroll down for the link].

It’s a deal that guarantees Mumbrella remains an independent voice and in time, I hope, will give Mumbrella the opportunity to become a global brand.

“My contract means I’ll be here until beyond the end of the decade.”

In the short – and indeed medium – term, very little will change. The same team will still produce Mumbrella, from the same office. No new editorial oversight will be placed over what we publish.

My contract means I’ll be here until beyond the end of the decade, and the same goes for my fellow shareholder in the business, and our ceo, Martin Lane.

And it’s also not one of those deals justified by “synergies”. Nobody will lose their job as a result.

Mumbrella, which unlike M+AD also runs a substantial events/conference/awards division, was founded in Sydney nine years ago, and during the last financial year made a A$1 million profit from a A$7m turnover. “And we’re on target for further growth this year,” Burrowes said.

He said Diversified Communications is mainly an exhibition and conferences company – “with an ambition, I gather, to widen its offering”. He said in 2017, Mumbrella360 generated more than a A$1 million in ticket sales and nearly the same again in sponsorship revenue.

“The Mumbrella business model is these days in large part that of an events company.”

Mumbrella employs 37 people in Australia (M+AD NZ has three).

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