Apprise Media to Acquire Canon Communications

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 21, 2005--Apprise Media LLC, a niche media company backed by Spectrum Equity Investors, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Canon Communications, a leading producer of print publications, trade shows and digital media for the high-growth $200 billion medical device manufacturing market and allied packaging, plastics and electronics markets. Apprise is acquiring Canon from Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a private equity firm. With Canon, Apprise gains a strong operating base in business-to-business media. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Canon Communications, which is based in Los Angeles, produces 15 trade shows, publishes 15 magazines and operates eight online properties including Medical Device Link (, the medical manufacturing industry's most trafficked web site. Canon's notable print titles include MD&DI (Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry), the leading publication for manufacturers of medical devices and diagnostic products, now in its 26th year of publication; Medical Product Manufacturing News, the only product tabloid in the medical device manufacturing industry; and Modern Plastics Worldwide, the world's largest international plastics publication. Canon's notable trade shows include the Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) and PLASTEC series.

Charles G. McCurdy, Chairman and CEO of Apprise Media, said, "We believe that the B2B media segment is in the early stages of a cyclical upturn and that well-positioned companies like Canon have strong growth potential. This is a segment we know very well, and we anticipate making follow-on acquisitions as appropriate."

"Canon is a great company," McCurdy said. "Its products and services play an indispensable role in the global medical devices market. Canon's events and publications also hold strong positions in the packaging, plastics and electronics markets. Bill Cobert and his management team have produced impressive operating results in a difficult business-to-business environment over the last five years, while establishing a strong platform for further growth, both in the U.S. and in major non-U.S. markets. The medical devices market is one of the fastest-growing segments of the global medical industry, and Canon is well positioned to benefit from that growth. In addition to its dominant position in the U.S., the company is well established in Europe, and, this year, is executing a promising market entry in China."

"Spectrum and Apprise look forward to working with the Canon management team to continue its successful track record in its markets and helping expand it within these core industries," added Steven Price, Senior Managing Director of Spectrum Equity. "Canon's leading market position and attractive financial profile will serve Apprise well in the future."

William Cobert, President and CEO of Canon Communications, said, "The Apprise team has enormous experience in growing successful B2B media companies. We look forward to working with them to expand Canon's market position, both through strong organic growth and select acquisitions."

Canon Communications is Apprise's second acquisition of an operating platform in specialty media this year. In January, Apprise acquired Beckett Publications, the leading publisher of sports and entertainment market collectible guides. Canon and Beckett will operate as separate companies, each with its own management.


Formed in 2004, Apprise Media ( is a strategic management and investment company. Controlled by Charles G. McCurdy, a co-founder and former President of Primedia Inc. (NYSE: PRM - News), Apprise Media acquires and builds businesses in the targeted media and publishing sectors. Apprise and Spectrum Equity Investors have joined forces in an investment initiative that has committed $175-$200 million of Spectrum's capital for strategic investments in niche media and publishing businesses.


Canon Communications LLC is a leading publisher, trade show producer, and digital media company serving medical device, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, specialty packaging, electronics, semiconductor fabrication, plastics processing, and other advanced technology markets. The company's expanding array of titles includes MD&DI (Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry), Medical Product Manufacturing News, European Medical Device Manufacturer, Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, IVD Technology, Medical Electronics Manufacturing, MX, Compliance Engineering, MICRO, Medical Device Register, Nutritional Outlook, Cosmetic/Personal Care Packaging, Injection Molding Magazine, The Almanac, Plastics Machinery & Auxiliaries, China Medical Device Manufacturer, and Modern Plastics Worldwide. In addition to MD&M and PLASTEC, Canon's show names include MEDTEC, WestPack, EastPack, SouthPack, MidPak, Atlantic Design & Manufacturing, Pacific Design & Manufacturing, and OEM New England. For more information, refer to


Spectrum Equity Investors is a leading private equity firm specializing in investments in the media, communications, entertainment and information and business services industries throughout North America and Western Europe. Founded in 1994 and based in Boston, New York and Menlo Park, Spectrum has over $4 billion in capital under management. Spectrum's strategy is to invest substantial amounts of capital behind strong management teams and provide long-term and active board-level assistance to those teams to help them create and realize value. Significant investments include Apprise Media LLC, CBD Media LLC, Classic Media, Consolidated Communications, Inc., Eutelsat S.A., Loews Cineplex Entertainment,, Inc., NEP, Inc, Patriot Media and Communications and RiskMetrics Group, Inc. For additional information, refer to


Veronis Suhler Stevenson ( is a private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company dedicated to investing in the media, communications and information industries in North America and Europe. Since 1987, VSS has managed approximately $2 billion in committed capital across four private equity funds and a mezzanine debt fund, all focused exclusively on the media, communications and information industries. VSS provides capital for buyouts, recapitalizations, growth financings and strategic acquisitions to companies and management teams with a goal to build companies both organically and through a focused add-on acquisition program. To date, VSS equity funds have invested in 33 platform companies, which have in turn completed over 184 add-on acquisitions resulting in a portfolio with realized and unrealized enterprise values totaling approximately $7.5 billion. Investments include Hanley Wood, Ascend Media, YBR Group and Hemscott plc.

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