Gramophone magazine has been sold by present owners Haymarket Media to the Mark Allen Group for an undisclosed sum in its 90th anniversary year.
The sale ends recent industry speculation that Haymarket had been looking to sell the self-styled ‘world’s authority on classical music’, which it acquired in 1999. The disposal will end the Teddington-based company’s involvement with music publishing following the closure of Classic FM Magazine in March last year.
The Mark Allen Group is an independent, family-owned company with a portfolio of 50 magazine and journal titles, mostly in healthcare, veterinary medicine and early-age childcare and education. Earlier this year it ventured into music publishing for the first time with the purchase of the UK’s largest-selling jazz monthly magazine, Jazzwise.
In a statement, group chairman Mark Allen, who has organised the annual Wiltshire Jazz Festival since 2006, said he was ‘absolutely thrilled to be buying Gramophone’ and anticipated that it would ‘add gravitas to our music publishing interests’.
Mr Allen also hinted at plans for ‘a regional festival in the field of classical music’ on the back of the acquisition.
Confirming the sale, Haymarket’s chief executive Kevin Costello said: ‘Gramophone is a famous brand serving the international classical music market through a growing number of traditional and digital channels. Consistent with Haymarket’s growth strategy and focus on its chosen markets, we believe Gramophone is in a better position to grow and thrive with the focus that Mark Allen Group can bring’.
Subject to completion of contract and staff consultation, the sale is expected to be finalised by early November.