THG, which owns brands such as Lookfantastic and MyProtein, has snapped up London-based business newspaper City AM in an 11th-hour deal to save the newspaper from the brink of insolvency.

Matt Moulding

Source: Peter Searle

Matt Moulding said THG had been eyeing opportunities in the ‘disruptive media space’

The acquisition will see co-founder and City Am chief executive Jens Torpe retiring from the business, while 40 editorial and commercial staff will join the THG Group. 

Sky News earlier reported that the health and beauty retailer was in advanced talks with accountancy firm BDO and was expected to pay “a small seven-figure sum” for the newspaper’s brand and website.

The deal is expected to give THG commercial opportunities including providing its Ingenuity clients, which include Coca-Cola, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez and Nestlé, greater access to City AM’s financially literate readers. 

The retailer is expected to transform City AM’s technology interface and launch an app for the newspaper, which is published four days a week. 

City AM said its new owner “will invest in both editorial and technological resources for the newsroom as well as expanding the paper’s lifestyle and sports categories, with further investment into new areas including sustainability, wellness technology and beauty”.

Calling the deal a “perfect fit” for the business, City AM co-founder Lawson Muncaster added: “We both believe firmly in the power of business to make peoples’ lives better and we cannot wait to get started with our new partners.”

Matt Moulding, founder and chief executive of THG, said: “We’ve long been reviewing opportunities in the disruptive media space but have waited for the right time and the right opportunity to make a digital step-change in ad tech capabilities for Ingenuity.

City AM is one of London’s leading media platforms and we will ensure this remains the case with full editorial independence. This deal helps us reach a huge new audience, and complements our successful content creation studios and digital media expertise.”