Client

Chamberlain & Co for Factory Media Limited (in Administration)

Background

Factory Media Limited (in Administration) (“Factory Media” or the “Company”) was a leading action sports publishing house and media company which had accumulated over 32 years of brand heritage and experience in the industry. The Company’s portfolio of online publications included popular titles such as Road Cycling UK, Total Women’s Cycling, Mpora and Dirt Mountain Bike. It boasted 5.3 million webpage views per month and circa 6.7 million social media followers across its publication brands.

Assignment

Metis Partners was instructed by Michael Chamberlain of Chamberlain & Co, Administrator of Factory Media (“the Client”) to assist in the Company’s insolvency proceedings by identifying, marketing and selling the IP assets of Factory Media. Time was of the essence to ensure brand value and customer loyalty was preserved, so Metis Partners launched a marketing process and gathered offers within a fortnight.

Our Approach

Using our proprietary methodology, Metisology, Metis Partners performed comprehensive desk-based company and sector research. We liaised with the client in order to gather relevant information in relation to the IP assets held by the company. Despite having restricted access to client staff, we identified a range of IP assets which had been critical to the company’s revenue generation and competitive advantage, including:

• Goodwill rights in the Factory Media corporate brand and a number of publication brands
• Portfolio of registered trade marks
• Portfolio of domain names
• Branded website content across the multiple Factory Media brands

Metis Partners produced a detailed marketing brochure which catalogued and showcased the IP assets of Factory Media and its publications. While working to the accelerated timescales, we launched an intensive marketing campaign and circulated marketing materials to a bespoke targeted database of circa 1.5k potential buyers. We simultaneously marketed the sale both via our social media channels and by circulating marketing materials to our proprietary database of circa 3.7k potential IP acquirers.

Metis Partners gained significant interest in this and as a result had to manage many enquiries. We set up a data room and those having signed NDAs were permitted access to this additional information. We supported extensive IP due diligence enquiries and negotiated with interested parties to create competitive tension. During the first round of offers, we received circa 30 offers. The level of interest was leveraged into a second bidding round and an uplift of 175% on the initial offer yielded a six-figure return for creditors. Following the offer acceptance Metis Partners liaised with lawyers on both sides of the transaction and assisted with the handover process to ensure a timely and smooth completion of the sale.

Outcome

Our extensive marketing campaign for the Factory Media IP assets attracted significant interest and helped create competitive tension. The sale exceeded expectations by generating a six-figure return for creditors and assisting the administrator in their duty to maximise recovery. Furthermore, following the completion of the sale the purchaser retained some of the key members of staff at Factory Media which widened the positive impact of the deal.

Results

Having Metis Partners leading the sale ensured:

• IP marketing and sales process was conducted within accelerated timescales;
• an uplift of 175% on the initial offer;
• the relaunch of well-known international action sports brands; and
• the continuity of employment for key Company staff.