Bauer Media acquires The High Tea Party, moving into ticketed consumer events

Bauer Media has flagged its intention to move into ticketed consumer events with its acquisition of events company The High Tea Party. The magazine business has appointed former head of digital strategy at Australian Radio Network, Julia Smith, to run the business.

The transaction takes place as Bauer’s proposed buy out of Seven’s Pacific Magazines has ground to a halt, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concerned about how it would impact market competition and the viability of both publishers’ titles.

Seven CEO James Warburton has remained confident the ACCC will ultimately approve the decision, telling Mumbrella: “We took some comfort from the TPG Vodafone decision [in which the ACCC approved their merger].

“This is a very small segment of the market. It’s severely challenged, as is the economy and the ad market generally. And, as I said, it’s not for us to speak on the regulator’s behalf, but certainly with the discussions, we’re confident that it’s all going to get approved.”

Bauer CEO Brendon Hill has also voiced his confidence in the deal.

The High Tea Party purchase will allow Bauer to expose clients’ brands to new customers, the company said.

“Event experiences are an incredibly important part of our business and as we continue to diversify our revenue streams, consumer ticketed events at scale are a focus for us,” Bauer Media’s executive general manager, Sarah-Belle Murphy, said.

“The High Tea Party is an established brand with a large and loyal audience. This, combined with the clear synergies that exist with our titles and marketing expertise, makes it a perfect fit for the business.”

The High Tea Party was founded by CEO of The Peppermint Group, Alison Dean, 10 years ago. Dean will consult to Bauer for 12 months, with the first event to be held on 27 and 28 June at Melbourne’s Sofitel on Collins.

“The High Tea Party is a business I’m incredibly proud of and I am excited to be involved with the transition over to Bauer Media. With the backing of such an influential media company, the growth of this property will be something to watch,” Dean said of the sale.

Murphy welcomed Smith to Bauer, and said the business is grateful Dean will remain involved for the first year.

“We’re delighted to have Julia on board to drive the growth of The High Tea Party and the invaluable experience Alison brings in having run the event for the past 10 years,” she said.

“For our partners it represents an opportunity to engage with a motivated audience through product sampling and sales, stage sponsorships, data capture and direct consumer feedback. We’re looking forward to working with all of them as we launch in Melbourne and Sydney this year.”


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