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GIC-backed MPS acquires publishing platform HighWire
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MPS Ltd, which creates content and offers technology services to academic and educational publishers, has acquired independent scholarly publishing platform HighWire for $7.1 million (about Rs 53.63 crore).

The deal includes the purchase of Northern Ireland-based HighWire Press Ltd and its UK-based unit Semantico Ltd for $1 million. It also includes the takeover of the company’s US units HighWire Press Holdings Inc., HighWire Press Inc. and HighWire UK Holdings LLC for $6.1 million.

In a filing with stock exchanges, MPS said the acquisition will help it scale its platform solutions business and strengthen its market position in the academic publishing community. MPS and HighWire will also leverage each other’s networks to expand to newer regions and industry verticals.

HighWire was founded by John Sack in 1995. Investors in the company include Stanford University and mid-market software and technology-focussed private equity firm Accel-KKR.

The company says its product and services suite span the entire breadth of the publishing cycle for audiences including societies, academics, associations and publishers. It reported consolidated revenue of $19.03 million for the 2019 calendar year.

MPS, formerly Macmillan India Ltd, was earlier part of global publishing firm Macmillan Group. The Delhi-based ADI BPO purchased Macmillan’s stake in MPS in 2011, and now holds a nearly 68% stake in the company. Other investors in the company include Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and PineBridge Investments.

As per stock-exchange data, the company reported consolidated net sales of Rs 331.65 crore for the 2020 financial year and a profit after tax of Rs 59.86 crore.

MPS has struck several acquisitions in the past. In April 2018, for instance, Tata Group company Tata Industries Ltd agreed to sell its e-learning solutions unit to MPS. In 2016, MPS had acquired Sweden- and US-based Magplus, a digital platform that creates and distributes content to mobile apps.

MPS, through its US unit MPS North America LLC, had acquired publishing services company TSI Evolve for $1 million in March 2015. In October 2014, MPS had purchased Electronic Publishing Services, a provider of editorial, content creation, and art and design services.

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