The process began last October after Centaur concluded a strategic review and decided to focus on its leading brands to improve operational execution, says the company.
As previously disclosed, Centaur received a number of offers for The Lawyer, but the Board says it has determined that retaining the business is currently a more attractive option and offers greater opportunity to create value for shareholders.
The Group has successfully completed the disposal of four businesses, with the sale of its brands in engineering, financial services, human resources and travel and meetings, raising an aggregate amount of £21.75m in cash, before costs.
The sale of Centaur's smaller businesses has simplified the structure of the Group and will enable the achievement of significant cost efficiencies, thereby creating additional shareholder value, says the company.
The Board believes that it will be able to reduce overheads by at least £5m on an annualised basis which will deliver improved operating margins in 2020 and beyond. The cost savings include a move later this year to a more suitable new office in Waterloo, London.
Centaur’s continuing business will consist of Xeim, which operates the Group’s marketing brands, and The Lawyer, a business information brand for the legal services industry. Both Xeim and The Lawyer offer scalable digital products and services in global marketplaces that are undergoing disruption, says Centaur.
Xeim is an international provider of business information and specialist consultancy to the marketing industry. Xeim’s immediate priorities include capitalising on the success of Influencer Intelligence, a digital platform that offers insights for influencer marketing, and expanding digital learning revenues across Marketing Week and Econsultancy.
The Lawyer’s strategic priorities include building subscription revenues, deepening customer relationships and capturing adjacent market segments. The business is poised for continued growth in an attractive market, says the company.
Colin Jones, chairman, commented: “The Board is delighted with Centaur’s transformation in recent months. The disposal programme has created a more focused Group that is better placed to deliver value to shareholders. I would like to thank the management team for their hard work to secure this success, and to recognise the important contribution made by Neil Johnson, my predecessor as chairman, for the support and leadership he provided throughout the process.”