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Emap buys motor trade publisher

EMAP is moving into the highly specialist area of information publishing with the purchase of CAP Nationwide Motor Research, writes Gail Counsell.

The local newspaper and magazine group is paying pounds 17.9m for CAP, which compiles price guides for the motor trade. Its main publications are the Black Book, which covers car prices, the Red Book, which deals with commercial vehicles, and the Green Book of motorcycle and marine prices.

Titles are available as books, computer discs and on-line services, and about 90 per cent of its pounds 4m-a- year revenues comes from its subscriber base.

Emap already publishes a wide range of motor trade magazines, such as Fleet News, Fleet Car and Auto Business. It also organises the main company car trade show, the Fleet Show at Silverstone.

The purchase of CAP, which made pounds 1.4m pre-tax profits in the year to the end of September, is expected to enhance earnings. The price will be met with an equal mix of loan stock and cash. CAP has net assets of pounds 400,000 and pounds 1m in cash.

Emap said CAP was its entry to the world of information-based publishing and a move of strategic significance. The company hopes to apply CAP's database management skills to a number of its other business markets and to cross-promote its services in its magazines.