eMap Buys Fashion Info Portal For $245 Million


UK magazine giant Emap has snapped up online fashion and retail information group Worth Global Style Network (WGSN) for $245 million. Emap described subscription-based WGSN.com as “the leading international online source of fashion and apparel intelligence in the retail sector”.

London-based WGSN employs 172 staff and reported pre-tax profits of $7 million in 2004, on turnover of $26.5 million. WGSN is dependent on money from subscriptions, and annual renewal rates for the service have been in excess of 90%.

AFX: Analysts said WGSN would fit well within the Emap group, which publishes Retail Week and fashion industry magazine Drapers Record, but added that Emap had paid too much for it. “We would have valued WGSN at about [$178 million]”, said Paul Richards, a media analyst at Numis Securities.

Emap Chief Executive Tom Moloney said the WGSN acquisition will enhance earnings by 1 pct in the 2006/7 financial year, adding that Emap aims to double the number of WGSN over five years to 3,000 corporate subscribers.

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