Magicalia breaks into print with Encanta acquisition

Magicalia, the online specialist publisher, has acquired magazine publisher Encanta, the special interest group which was part of the now defunct Highbury House Communications.

Magicalia, founded by joint managing directors Jeremy Tapp and Adam Laird, will go into print publishing for the first-time purchase, which comprises nine titles, including Gardens Monthly and Practical Woodworking.

It will launch websites for all its new acquisitions.

Tapp said: "We will be launching a site in each of these sectors, alongside all of these magazines."

He added that building communities around these interests would also be a goal.

"We are going to do community properly. We are as much about user participation as professional editorial content".

The majority of the content on the new sites will be free, but Tapp explained that some customers would have to pay for some premium packages.

The company is also aiming to develop e-commerce sites for its new acquisitions.

According to its co-founders, Magicalia is now actively looking in the market for further print acquisitions. Currently, Magicalia publishes specialist online sites such as Golfmagic.com and Surfmagic.com, as well as e-commerce sites like CycleSurgery.com and County-Golf.co.uk.

The Encanta acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to triple Magicalia's annual turnover.

Peter Harkness, chairman of Encanta, has now become executive chairman of Magicalia and Owen Davies, MD at Encanta, has been named as MD of print operations for Magicalia. All other Encanta staff will be retained as part of the new company.

Exponent Private Equity acquired Magicalia two months ago.

After interest from several magazine publishers, Exponent decided to invest and help build up the company through acquisition.

Encanta, which was formerly known as Highbury Nexus Special Interest Limited, was sold to Brush Colour Ltd in January as part of the final sell-off of Highbury House assets.

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