Harrogate-based publishing company Barker Brooks Media Ltd has been bought out of administration by Sleekside Ltd, an independent subsidiary of the Pelican Group.
Established in 1999, Barker Brooks offers a range of publishing and design services as well as marketing support and events management. The company is well-known for publishing its own portfolio of business magazines including the Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer, and niche titles such as Claims magazine for the personal injury sector. It also hosts events for many of its publications such as the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards, the Claims Management Conference and the Legal and Medical Conference. In addition, Barker Brooks provides marketing services for leading organisations such as the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), BDO LLP and the National Association of Pension Funds.
Also based in Harrogate, the Pelican Group comprises publishing, e-commerce, motorsport and property businesses. Its publishing arm, Pelican Magazines, produces a number of specialist publications mainly focussing on niche medical sectors.
Julian Pitts and Andy Clay were appointed as joint administrators to Barker Brooks Media Ltd on 9 November 2012 and the sale of its business and assets to Sleekside was completed the same day, securing the future of the business and the jobs of its 23 staff. The deal was negotiated by joint administrator Julian Pitts of Begbies Traynor in Leeds who was advised by Helen Bates of Leeds law firm Clarion.
Mr Pitts of Begbies Traynor commented:
Over the last 13 years, Barker Brooks has established its own portfolio of high profile magazines aimed at specific professions as well as working with blue chip organisations to provide publishing and marketing support.
The quick turnaround of this deal helped preserve the company’s high quality client list by allowing a continuity of supply and, therefore, preserving the goodwill of the business. It is great news that this sale gives the business and its staff a future within a complementary publishing company.
Helen Bates of Clarion commented:
It was clear that, despite its financial difficulties, Barker Brooks had a viable business with some valuable assets in terms of its established magazine brands and events. The swift action that was taken has helped to preserve the reputation and value of these brands. For example, the company’s annual Personal Injury Awards event, which is due to take place in London on Wednesday, was in danger of being cancelled unless a deal was successfully completed last Friday.
It is good news for the purchaser, staff and creditors that we were able to deal with the instruction and conclude the transaction in just over two days.