The Channel Company, parent company of CRN, has completed its acquisition of the technology division of London-based Incisive Media, including its Computing, CRN UK and Channel Partner Insight properties, The Channel Company said Friday.
The strategic acquisition reunites the CRN and CRN UK brands within the same company and marks a significant step in The Channel Company's aspirations to make CRN a global brand.
The deal also creates an opportunity to leverage the Computing brand from Incisive Media and The Channel Company's Midsize Enterprise Services brand to fuel The Channel Company's efforts to create a global IT end user community, said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company, in an interview.
"The audiences we serve in the end-user and the channel spaces now have an opportunity to participate in a wider and much more robust global community," Raddon said. The addition of the Incisive Media titles and events "increases the audience value for the sponsors, vendors, distributors and solution providers who want to engage with that audience. This gives us a worldwide platform for that engagement."
The acquisition expands The Channel Company's presence in the EMEA region with its media and events properties, as well as its channel marketing, consulting and research services.
The acquisition of the Incisive Media properties completes a process that began in April when U.K.-based ARC, a global data, events and media platform provider, acquired all of Incisive Media including its finance, sustainability and technology properties.
Both Arc and The Channel Company are backed by investment funds managed by New York-based EagleTree Capital. EagleTree helped bring together the deal under which The Channel Company has now acquired Incisive Media's technology division from ARC. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Incisive Media's technology properties greatly expands The Channel Company's channel portfolio which, in addition to CRN and CRN.com, includes such events as XChange, Best of Breed and Women of the Channel, along with a range of channel-focused marketing, consulting and research services.
The acquisition re-unites the U.K.-based CRN with its market-leading U.S. counterpart, CRN.com and CRN magazine - which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022. The Channel Company also acquires Channel Partner Insight, which provides IT channel news and insights, both for European and global audiences, through its channelpartnerinsight.com website, newsletters and events.
Computing is a provider of news, research and events for IT management leaders including CIOs, CTOs and IT directors. That property is seen as having synergies with The Channel Company's Midsize Enterprise Services, including the Midsize Enterprise Summit event and MES Leadership Network community, for senior midmarket IT leaders.
"We have a thriving midsize enterprise leadership community in the U.S., and we want to expand that worldwide," Raddon said. "The Computing property that we're picking up with Incisive Media gives us content for the end-user community that we can use to tie these things together and build them out as a worldwide community for CIOs and IT decision makers."
A number of clients of The Channel Company, Incisive Media - and in some cases both - applauded the combination.
"I was delighted to see the news of the U.S. and U.K. CRN platforms joining forces," said Simon Chappell, co-founder and CEO of Assured Data Protection.
"As CEO of a company with twin HQs in the U.K. and U.S., it is extremely beneficial to be able to share our message across both continents consistently. CRN has always been a key media platform of choice in both locations, and the recent news only adds to this perspective."
"The acquisition is a mutually beneficial transaction and I am sure it will be value accretive to all parties. As an avid subscriber to both the U.S. and U.K. CRN platforms, I am delighted with the announcement and look forward to seeing the execution of the expected synergies," said Dave Stevinson, CEO of QBS Software, based in Wembley, U.K.
Acquiring Incisive Media's technology properties is the latest step toward achieving The Channel Company's aspirations to globally expand The Channel Company and CRN brands and grow the portfolio of services it can offer its channel and end-user clients.
In January 2021, The Channel Company acquired Audienz, a cloud marketing services company that includes top cloud service providers among its customer list. That deal added global end-user digital marketing service capabilities to The Channel Company's portfolio of research and consultative services.
The Channel Company grew its global footprint further in February of this year when it bought bChannels, a 23-year-old global channel marketing powerhouse that operates an AI-based precision marketing platform for to- and through-partner marketing tasks. BChannels, based in Oxford, U.K., has operations in the United Kingdom, Spain, Malaysia, Australia and the U.S.
The Incisive Media acquisition builds on those earlier acquisitions, Raddon noted. The addition of bChannels, for example, provided The Channel Company with an extensive global partner database "and an advanced data infrastructure to fully utilize that database to help our vendor clients more effectively market to the channel and end users," the CEO said.
"That database, coupled with Incisive Media's relationships and communities, are a powerful combination that allows our solution provider, vendor and distributor clients to be more effective as they try to reach these two communities," Raddon said.
"They're all part of our overarching strategy to provide more value to our vendor, distributor and solution provider customers," Raddon said of the string of acquisitions. "With these three acquisitions, we have taken The Channel Company and these three companies and created an entirely new company."