Mark Allen Group to acquire Optician from RBI

MA Healthcare, a part of the Mark Allen Group (MAG), is to acquire the 124 year old Optician, from Reed Business Information (RBI). The deal is due to complete in September 2015.

Optician is a weekly journal, website and provider of continuing education and training (CET) for eye care professionals, including ophthalmologists and dispensing opticians.

Since its launch in 1891 Optician has been a leading source of news, views and analysis on all aspects of the optical profession and business. It is currently the only independent provider of distance learning interactive CET points, says MAG.

During the past five years, MAG has been on an extensive acquisition trail, which had seen revenues rise to £27.55 million this year and operating profits to £3.32 million. Recent purchases have included six brands from Haymarket Media Group.

So far in 2015 the group has bought the world music magazine, Songlines, and is in the process of acquiring The Airports Publishing Network Ltd, the information provider to the international ground-handling sector.

Mark Allen, Chairman of MAG: “Optician is a wonderful catch for us. Having worked for RBI in the 1970s and early 1980s, I am all too aware of the pedigree and success of the brand. It fills a gap within our healthcare portfolio, which is highly attractive for us.”

Ben Allen, Chief Executive of MAG added: “I am delighted that we will be acquiring a brand with such an excellent reputation and pedigree as Optician. It will be a huge addition to our healthcare portfolio and further establishes our company, MA Healthcare, as one of the leading providers of quality clinical, professional and practical information to the healthcare community in the UK.”

David Wilson, RBI Managing Director: “The sale of Optician reflects the ongoing strategic priority for RBI of focusing on paid content and data solutions. The Mark Allen Group is a great home for the business and they will provide a secure future for the team and brand. I have no doubt the business will thrive under new ownership.”

The deal is due to complete in September 2015 after appropriate employee consultation.