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June acquisitions bustin' out all over.

Following a period of relatively lackadaisical activity, mergers and acquisitions in the newsletter and specialized-information industry blossomed this past month. Here are seven deals worth noting.

LRP buys Brownstone unit

LRP Publications Inc., a newsletter, magazine and book publisher based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, acquired six newsletters and loose-leaf products in the field of education administration from Brownstone Publishers Inc., New York City. Both companies are privately held.

The newsletters include School Superintendent's Insider, No Child Left Behind Compliance Insider, and the IEP Team Trainer. Their acquisition brings LRP's titles to about three dozen, enabling "LRP to offer more print and online education administration resources than any other publisher in the market," said Ken Kahn, LRP's CEO.

Eugene Simonoff & Associates of New York City represented Brownstone in the transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed.

The deal effectively ends Brownstone's long tenure as a newsletter publisher. It sold its real estate line in 2004 to the Vendome Group, its health care line also in 2004 to HCPro, and now its education list to LRP. Brownstone CEO is John Striker.

LRP, 360 Hiatt Drive, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418, 561-622-6520, fax 561-622-2074,

Brownstone, 149 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, 212-473-8200,

Veronis Suhler Stevenson active in media investments

In our last issue we ran a brief on Contexo Media's acquisition of Medical Management Institute Inc. Here's the background. Veronis Suhler Stevenson Mezzanine Partners LP, a mezzanine fund specializing in middle-market media, information and communications companies, invested in the subordinated debt of Contexo Media, with the proceeds being used to finance the Contexo acquisition of Medical Management Institute.

Contexo is a leading provider of public health and human services data and information. The current acquisition is Contexo's second since it was founded last year by Kevin Marcum, a former executive of Ingenix Inc.

MMI, headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, has provided medical coding publications, electronic products, and educational and consulting services to thousands of healthcare professionals throughout the U.S. since 1987--services that include workshops, seminars and conferences.

"Contexo Media and Medical Management Institute are highly complementary and share the same vision to improve administrative accuracy and effectiveness in healthcare. We are pleased to be partnering with Kevin and his team to take their business to the next level," said Hal R. Greenberg, co-manager of Veronis Suhler Stevenson. This investment represents the sixth transaction for the fund, which has $123 million of committed capital.

In June, Veronis Suhler Stevenson also made a significant investment in Market Strategies Inc., a full-service custom and syndicated market research firm. Market Strategies will join Veronis Suhler "to accelerate the firm's growth through acquisitions and to continue to invest in the development and marketing of new products and services to meet the evolving needs of clients."

The 1989-founded Market Strategies is based in Livonia, Michigan, with regional offices in Portland, Ore., and New Providence, N.J.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson, 350 Park Ave., New York, NY 10022, 212-935-4990, fax 212-381-8168,

Business Research Services buys Minority Business Insider

Set-Aside Alert is now the only comprehensive newsletter dedicated to small businesses regarding their trying to sell to the federal government. Business Research Services, of Bethesda, Maryland, has acquired Minority Business Insider, which will be folded into Set-Aside Alert.

For 13 years, Set-Aside Alert has been the leader in bringing useful marketing information to the small business owner--whether minority-owned, woman-owned, HUBzone, disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or active bidder on small business set-asides.

Warren Corbett is editor, and Tom Johnson is president of Business Research Services.

Business Research Services, 4701 Sangamore Road, #S-155, Bethesda, MD 20816, 301-229-5561,

James Publishing acquires Resource Directory Group assets

James Publishing Inc., based in Costa Mesa, Calif., recently acquired the assets California social services directory publisher Resource Directory Group Inc., founded in 1979.

RDG's seven printed Rainbow Referral Guides provide listings of the not-for-profit state, county and federal social services agencies throughout the state.

James Publishing is a family-owned publisher providing small and mid-sized litigation firms with practical, user-friendly information. With more than 80 print publications, the company publishes books and periodicals written by top attorneys and judges, and has more than 70,000 customers. Jim Pawell is president.

James Publishing, 3605 Cadillac Avenue, #H, Costa Mesa, CA 92636, 714-755-5450, fax 714-751-2709,

Elsevier Health Sciences acquires Gold Standard

Elsevier Inc.'s Health Sciences division--Brian Nairn, CEO--recently acquired Gold Standard, a developer of online clinical drug information products and services. Housatonic Partners, a private equity firm focusing on business services and media industries, is the lead investor in Gold Standard.

Based in Tampa, Gold Standard's staff of 83 professionals in pharmacy practice, electronic publishing and software development is completely online. It serves more than 1,000 hospitals, the largest retail pharmacy chains and consultant pharmacy organizations, leading health information websites, pharmacy and medical schools and hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals and consumers worldwide.

The Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc., New York City, represented Gold Standard in the transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed but which do require approval from the Federal Trade Commission.

Elsevier Health Sciences, 1600 John F. Kennedy Blovd., Philadelphia, PA 19103, 215-239-3900, fax 215-238-7883,

McMurry acquires Redspring

McMurry, one of the nation's leading custom publishers and the publisher of four subscription newsletters, this month acquired Redspring Communications Inc., a 39-person custom publisher in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The deal brings the custom media clients served by McMurry to more than 200 with significant healthcare, insurance and financial services portfolios. Redspring's clients include Genworth Financial, United Healthcare, and Centene.

"We have looked at many, many custom publishing businesses over the years, and Redspring rated among the best in what we term the four P's: product, people, portfolio, and potential," said Chris McMurry, CEO of the Phoenix-based firm.

Since 1998, McMurry has made seven acquisitions. Its staff has doubled in the last three years, to 145 currently.

Miller Capital Markets LLC, a Phoenix-based investment banking firm, served as financial advisor to McMurry in the deal.

McMurry, 1010 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85014, 602-395-5850, fax 602-395-5853,

Incisive Media acquires AVCJ

Incisive Media plc has agreed to acquire the entire share capital of Hong Kong-based AVCJ Group Limited for an initial consideration of US$6 million and deferred earnout consideration capped at US$9 payable over three years, subject to certain performance targets.

AVCJ is a provider of financial newsletters, conferences and databases to the Asian private equity and venture capital communities.

Dan Schwartz, who joined AVCJ as publisher in 1993, will remain as chairman and CEO. Tim Weller is chief executive of the London-based Incisive Media, which publishes three dozen newsletters and journals.

Incisive Media, Haymarket House, 2nd Floor, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RX, U.K., (44)(0)20-7484-9700,
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Title Annotation:McMurry Inc. acquires Redspring Communications Inc.; LRP Publications Inc. acquires six newsletters from Brownstone Publishers Inc.; Elsevier Inc.'s Health Sciences division acquires Gold Standard
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Jul 7, 2006
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