The publishing firm’s deal for the price comparison site had a frosty reception from the market
Thursday 10 Dec 2020 Author: Tom Sieber

At least one person appears to be a very big fan of Future’s (FUTR) recommended £535 million cash and shares deal for Goco (GOCO).

Goco’s largest shareholder and chairman Peter Wood has snapped up £2 million worth of Future shares after they slumped in the wake of the deal being unveiled to the market (25 Nov).

Future’s shares were trading close to £20 and within sight of record highs before the takeover was announced, and now sit at £17.46.

The negative market reaction implies concern over a large transaction which sits outside Future’s traditional approach of buying cheap magazine assets and incorporating them into a central platform to generate revenue from their content and brands through a mix of digital advertising, e-commerce and click-throughs to partnered retailers and events.

However, Liberum analyst Harry Read notes: ‘Alongside buying another quality platform asset, Future has identified synergies associated with the deal including cross-selling, lower customer acquisition costs (presumably by advertising GoCo on Future websites) and benefiting from future tech stack.’

Wood’s share purchase means he can support the transaction from both sides – he owns almost 30% of Goco. He was quoted as saying he bought Future shares because they are undervalued and he thinks the company has good prospects and is run by an outstanding chief executive in Zillah Byng-Thorne.

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