Daily Mail group buys energy firm for £110m

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The Independent Online

Daily Mail & General Trust, the publisher, bolstered its interests in the business-to-business sector yesterday with the acquisition of a group that provides information to energy traders.

The acquisition of Genscape, which could cost £110m including earn-outs, is a further sign of the company's decision to invest money outside its newspaper assets. DMGT, which owns the Daily Mail national title, recently tried to sell its vast stable of regional papers. However, the auction of the regional titles was pulled after it failed to get close to the £1.5bn reputed asking price.

Part of the logic of that divestment had been to put money into business-to-business publishing, an area seen by the company as high growth. The sector isless dependent on advertising revenues and is more likely to benefit from the internet.

Genscape, which is based in the US and had revenues of £7m last year, provides real-time information on levels of electricity generated from power plants and transmitted on to the grid. Traders in the energy market in Europe and the US use the data.

Paul Richards, at Numis Securities, said: "This deal is very symptomatic of where DMGT is putting money at the moment."

DMGT's other assets in the business-to-business area include information targeted at the insurance market. It also owns the majority of Euromoney, which has a series of financial publications.

Genscape has grown on the back of the regulation of the international energy markets. It has more than 130 customers, including utilities, investment banksand hedge funds "providing critical, real-time energy generation and transmission information utilising proprietary technology to generate data about power-plant usage and supply availability".