The acquisition of the Blaze business will see Future expand its event portfolio. Blaze’s already established and respected events - The London Acoustic Show, The London Bass Guitar Show and The London Drum Show - will join Future’s events division that already produces The Photography Show, Generate Conferences, The Golden Joystick Awards and the PC Gamer Weekender. They have also taken up the option to acquire the newly launched UK Game Fair which replaces the gap left by the closure of the CLA Game Fair.
The addition of Blaze’s portfolio of shooting magazines including Sporting Rifle, Clay Shooting, Airgun Shooter, Bow International, Gun Trade News and iShoot adds a new specialist sector to the company’s portfolio.
Additionally, Future will strengthen its position as one of the UK’s leading publishers in music. Blaze’s music portfolio - Acoustic Magazine, Bass Guitar Magazine, Drummer and its digital counterpart iDrum - will see Future expand their reach and market share in specialist music titles that already includes MusicRadar.com, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Rhythm, Future Music and Computer Music.
As a publisher which focuses on specialist areas through its magazines, websites, events, trade publications and contract publishing, the acquisition of Blaze fits neatly into Future strategic plans to continue to bring market-leading content to audiences wherever they want to consume it, says the company.
Future CEO, Zillah Byng-Thorne, says, "The acquisition of Blaze’s assets presents mutually beneficial opportunities in print, online and in events for both businesses. We'll gain from their team’s specialist knowledge and insight, and the deal will further strengthen Future's portfolio as we work towards fulfilling our long-term ambitions.
"The acquisition is part of our strategy to diversify our revenues, increase our scale and improve operational efficiency by acquiring complementary brands in our Magazine division.”
All Blaze staff (approximately 35) will remain in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire for the foreseeable future.