NEW YORK -- The New York-based Wicks Group of Companies today concluded the purchase of Northstar Travel Media, owner of Travel Weekly.
Thomas Kemp, Northstar's chairman and CEO, said the Wicks purchase was a vote of confidence, not only in Northstar and business-to-business publishing, "but also in the travel industry, because our success is tied to the success of our customers."
He said the purchase was intended to be "as seamless as possible for all our stakeholders." He said Wicks would retain all of Northstar's management and staff, and the Northstar name remains unchanged.
Wicks is a private-equity firm that invests in lower-middle-market companies operating in selected segments of the information, education and media industries principally in the U.S. and Canada.
Northstar was previously owned by BV Investment Partners.
Kemp said, "This is not the kind of slash-and-burn type of private-equity purchase" discussed frequently in the press.
To the contrary, he said, Wicks can be expected to provide support to help Northstar continue its recent track record for growth both by adding new products and through acquisitions. There "absolutely" will be more acquisitions, he said, following on recent purchases of Business Travel News and PhoCusWright, for example.
Besides Travel Weekly, Business Travel News and PhoCusWright, the Northstar portfolio includes TravelAge West, Meetings and Conventions, Successful Meetings, Meeting News, Travel Procurement and Incentive; database-driven electronic publications Hotel & Travel Index, Official Cruise Guide and M&C Facilities Search; and online subscription services The Beat, travel42, Weissmann Reports, Intelliguide Corporate, BTP24 and Star Service Online.
The company also produces more than 20 face-to-face events in the served markets of retail travel, corporate travel and the meetings industry. In addition, PhoCusWright is the leading research and event producer serving the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry: online travel distribution.
"We are very impressed with the growth of Northstar Travel Media over the last few years during challenging economic conditions," said Dan Kortick, a managing partner at Wicks.
"The management team has done an excellent job of migrating its core business to an integrated information and marketing solutions company," Kortick said. "We are excited about partnering with the current management team to continue to grow the company through product development and strategic acquisitions."
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.