Rocca Holdings Buys into Media Company

Rocca Holdings Buys into Media Company

Rocca Holdings has taken a 12.5% shareholding in the Cork based media company Progressive News & Media Limited through a company called Investmedia PR Limited which is a subsidiary of Rocca Holdings.

Progressive publishes four national magazine titles. RSVP, a monthly society magazine. The monthly business magazine Business Munster. The quarterly RSVP Interiors and bi-annual RSVP Weddings. The company also publishes a large range of in-house guest magazines on a contract basis for the hotel sector as well as private client publications. The company also owns Progressive Taxi-Ads which sells advertising on the sides of taxis throughout the island as well as Progressive Event Management and Progressive Fine Art. Progressive News & Media is the largest regional based publisher of magazines in Ireland and employs 38 staff on a full time, part time and contract basis. The company’s RSVP magazine is the title sponsor of the RSVP International Rose Ball 2008 as part of the 49th Rose of Tralee Festival and its business magazine organises the KPMG Business Person of the Year Awards 2008.

The share sale was concluded in May and values the Progressive titles and business at close to €15m. The Directors of the Cork based company are Michael Mulcahy, Jonathan Smith, Kevin Sanquest and Paula Lenihan with Michael Mulcahy and Jonathan Smith controlling the largest block of shares in the company.

“I can confirm that I am the director that sold 12.5% of my personal shareholding in Progressive News & Media Limited in recent months to Investmedia PR Limited of which Annette Rocca is the lead shareholder. Annette has been a key advisor on our editorial team in the area of fashion since earlier this year when our titles became national. We are now delighted to announce Annette’s appointment as Fashion Editor at RSVP.  She brings great strengths to the company with over twenty years experience in international fashion buying in Ireland, the UK, the USA and Hong Kong and has a unique expertise in style which is an integral part of our media business. We have been publishing magazines since 2000 and in line with our entry into the national media market with magazines and our outdoor medium as well as the expansion of our business in Northern Ireland where we will launch a dedicated RSVP monthly social diary exclusively for the Northern Ireland market, this affirms our expansion plans.

Our business magazine will expand in November to include Business Munster, Business Leinster, Business Ulster and Business Connaught in a new title called Business Island, which will be Ireland’s first all island business magazine with offices in Cork and Belfast” stated the Founder and CEO of the company Michael Mulcahy.

He continued “Our interest is in developing our existing and new titles and expanding our contract titles in representing 600 hotels on the island of Ireland with quality in-house publications. However, we are also interested in broadening our range of media assets and radio, outdoor and online media are a focus of our interest. We are in the market for the purchase of magazines or other media assets at this time. I believe there will be value in this area in the time ahead for companies like ours who have the resources to purchase poorly performing or poorly capitalised businesses in this sector. We are interested in assets that bring synergy for our business. I believe that the consolidation of the magazine market in Ireland is imminent and will be similar to the consolidation of the regional newspapers market in Ireland where a small number of companies will own the high circulation and viable magazine titles. As the largest publisher of magazines outside of Dublin we want to be a key player in the industry in the years ahead”.

Annette Rocca said “I have watched the growth of Progressive News & Media Limited over the past number of years and in particular the development of the suite of RSVP titles. In making this investment in the company we see great opportunity for the growth of the titles as well as the growth of RSVP, particularly when it will be available on the web for all Irish people around the world to read from September. I have seen the great team spirit that exists in the company and their ethos of ensuring that the readers and advertisers always come first, while also developing the business with great products as well as assisting many great Irish charities in generating publicity. This is a powerful approach in developing the business and I am delighted to be part of it as a shareholder and advisor. I was very excited when I was offered the position of Fashion Editor with RSVP, fashion has always been my passion and I bring to the company my experience in international fashion buying.  As well as my vast knowledge from within the industry I have been a dedicated follower of fashion for years and must surely be entitled to a PhD at this stage in designer and high street shopping!  I know what we women like and I am looking forward to bringing our readers some sensational style in RSVP”.  

Rocca Holdings is led by the 41 year old Castleknock based Patrick Rocca and its principle business is in Irish, UK and International blue chip prime property and business investments. The investment between Investmedia PR Limited and Progressive News & Media Limited was conducted privately by Rocca Holdings and Michael Mulcahy with Michael Lavelle of Lavelle Coleman Solicitors and Purcell McQuillan business advisors acting for Investmedia PR Limited and Bill Holohan of Holohan Solicitors and Cuddy O’ Leary Chartered Accountants acting for Progressive News & Media Limited.

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