Publishing company Multimedia Platforms Inc. (OTCQB: MMPW) is in acquisition mode. The company has agreed to buy New York gay lifestyle weekly Next Magazine, and is currently in the process of courting a California publishing company as a means of expanding across the country.
The transaction was announced the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, which brings together six cases with 32 plaintiffs consolidated from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky and will determine whether same-sex marriage becomes legal across the country, or whether states retain the authority to ban it. “It’s an empowering moment," says MMP CEO Bobby Blair.
Blair credits the recent debate along with other milestones, as a reason for MMP's content and growing audience becoming so attractive to investors. There was the repeal of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy - which barred gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military - as well as the repeal of Proposition 8, California's now-defunct gay marriage ban. With backing by investment firms TBG Holdings and Wellfleet Partners Inc., MMP is hoping to wield M&A as a means of growth, Blair says.
"What MMP is doing is crisscrossing the country," Blair adds. Next Magazine, which was sold by RND Enterprises Inc., grows MMP's footprint on the East Coast. The deal was announced on the heels of MMP's purchase of Columbia FunMap Inc., a 33-year-old travel and leisure publishing company for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community, on March 20.
According to Blair, MMP will continue to look for M&A opportunities—specifically for media companies with a LGBTQ audience. Next stop is the West Coast, he says, adding, "We're negotiating with a prominent southern California brand that will hopefully give us a presence in that market."
Next Magazine was founded in July 1993 by John Blair, a nightlife promoter, and publisher David Moyal, who will remain on board with MMP after the deal closes as a shareholder and adviser. MMP chief operating officer Kevin Hopper is expected to run Next Magazine in New York.
MMP, which went public in January, was founded in 2009. Greg Jaclin of law firm Szaferman Lakind Blumstein & Blader PC advised MMP on the acquisition.