Apax Buys Incisive Media Owner of Search Engine Strategies & Search Engine Watch

Sep 27, 2006 - 7:11 am 0 by
Filed Under Search News

Brett Tabke posted a featured thread at WebmasterWorld named "Incisive Media Sold to Apax for $377m." In short; Apax Partners has bought Incisive Media, "backing a £199m management buyout of the publisher of business titles including Legal Week and Investment Week." Yes, Incisive Media bought Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch from JupiterMedia back in August 2005, and they turned around and sold it.

As far as I know, things will remain the same - including Danny going on his own. From my understanding the same people are going to be working on a day to day basis at Incisive and SES and SEW - so again, I am not sure what this means - outside of a new company owning it.

The WebmasterWorld thread has thoughts on both sides of the fence. One said,

Saw it last week, found it interesting, moved on to bigger and better things :)

An other said;

it would be very interesting news to all of us if something similar to what we owed can sell for $tens of millions so don't blame Brett :)

I don't blame Brett. It was a nice catch and I honestly was surprised that there was not a thread at WebmasterWorld on this topic until yesterday.

Danny Sullivan came into the thread to address some questions, here is a quote, where he replies to some questions:

> Why didn't Danny or Barry inform us about this?

I hope it's clear we did inform you about it. We didn't do a standalone post because (1) it's unclear how big of news this is to the search space, given that as I said, the company structure seems to be the same, though the name and going private will change and (2) it's frankly difficult for me to write much about a company that I'm also still working for.

> What impact does this have upon the SES conferences?

No idea. Again, that's part of the reason I don't have much more to say on it.

> Barry and Danny are still employed by whatever company owns and operates Incisive and thus they are likely being asked not to mention the topic

Incisive has not given me any instructions on what to post or not post on Search Engine Watch. So I still weigh up everything and try to deal with it as best I can. Again, in this case, the main fact people are mainly focusing on is whether the sale meant Incisive decided not to negotiate better with me or not. That's a good point, but it wasn't one I feel comfortable raising. I'll leave that analysis to others. And when Joe did one such analysis, a few days after we reported the sale of the news, you'll see in our headlines yesterday that I pointed to him.

Simple why we didn't cover this news until now at the Search Engine Roundtable. If there is no thread at a forum, we won't cover it. Last night a thread went up, so we are now covering it.

Honestly, I am confused as to what this means for the future of SEW and SES. I got an email last week from Incisive about it, that email confused me. But things tend to just be going on as they were a week ago. Danny Sullivan leaving SEW is more of an impact to SEW and SES than Incisive being acquired, IMO.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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