Public limited company
Traded as LSE: ASCL
Industry Publishing
Founded 1947
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people
Scott Forbes, (Chairman)
Duncan Painter (CEO)
Revenue £319.1 million (2015)[1]
£32.4 million (2015)[1]
£16.1 million (2015)[1]

Ascential plc is a British business-to-business media business specialising in exhibitions & festivals and information services. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


Richard Winfrey purchased the Spalding Guardian in 1887 and later purchased the Lynn News and the Peterborough Advertiser; he also started the North Cambs Echo. Sir Richard Winfrey (18581944) was a Liberal politician and campaigner for agricultural rights and the papers were used to promote his political views in and around Spalding, Boston, Sleaford and Peterborough. During World War II Winfrey's newspaper interests began to be passed over to his son, Richard Pattinson Winfrey (1902–1985). In 1947, under the direction of 'Pat' Winfrey, the family's newspaper titles were consolidated to form the East Midland Allied Press (EMAP): this was achieved by the merger of the Northamptonshire Printing and Publishing Co., the Peterborough Advertiser Co., the West Norfolk and King's Lynn Newspaper Co. and commercial printing sections at Rushden, King's Lynn and Bury St Edmunds.[2]

The magazine division was founded on a hunch when the company's printing presses lay dormant between printing issues of the local papers. The staff gambled that a weekly angling publication would be a hit - and in 1953 Angling Times was born. This was soon joined by another weekly heavyweight when EMAP bought Motor Cycle News from its founder in 1956 for a hundred pounds.[2] EMAP grew significantly in the late 1970s under the guidance of the extremely successful partnership of Sir Robin Miller and David Arculus.[3]

In 1996 EMAP PLC agreed to sell its 65 newspaper titles, including the 300-year-old Stamford Mercury, to Johnston Press for £111 million.[4]

Scottish Radio Holdings was acquired by EMAP on 21 June 2005.[5] In 2006, EMAP sold its French division to Italy's Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.[6]

On 27 July 2007, EMAP announced that it was undertaking a review of the structure of the group in response to receiving a number of unsolicited proposals to purchase parts of the company.[7] On 12 September 2007, EMAP announced that it had completed the disposal of its Australian consumer magazine division, Emap Australia for approximately £38m to ACP Magazines.[8] On 29 January 2008, EMAP completed the sale of its radio, television and consumer media businesses (EMAP Radio) to German company Bauer for £1.14bn.[9]

The remainder of the company was taken over by Eden Bidco Ltd, a company incorporated for the purpose of the acquisition by its owners, the private equity investment group Apax and the Guardian Media Group in late March/early April 2008.[10]

In March 2012, the company announced that it would be renamed Top Right Group, and that its magazines, events and data businesses would be separated into three standalone companies. The EMAP name would continue to be used for the magazines operation, which at the time accounted for around 18 percent of the group's turnover. The database business was renamed 4C Group, and the events unit was renamed I2i Events Group.[11]

the EMAP logo which is being retired

Then in October 2015 the company announced that the EMAP brand would be scrapped as all its titles move to digital-only format.[12] In December Top Right Group rebranded as Ascential.[13] The company was the subject of an £800m initial public offering in February 2016.[14]


Current magazines
Information Services
  • DeHavilland
  • Glenigan
  • Groundsure
  • Planet Retail
  • Retail Net Group

Exhibitions & festivals

Exhibitions & festivals include:[15]


  1. 1 2 3 "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Ascential. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  2. 1 2 "History". EMAP. Archived from the original on June 17, 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  3. "Sir David Arculus likes a challenge, so at 67 he has entered the world of wealth management". The Telegraph. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  4. "Johnston Press is still a shrewd investment". City Wire. 10 May 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  5. Brook, Stephen (21 June 2005). "Emap snaps up Scottish Radio Holdings". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  6. Tryhorn, Chris (20 June 2006). "Emap France sold for £380m". Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  7. "Emap reviewing group structure following proposals". City Wire. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  8. "Emap sells Australian consumer magazines for £38m". Campaign Live. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  9. "Emap sells magazines and radio divisions to Bauer for £1.14bn". Campaign Live. 7 December 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  10. Andrews, Amanda (24 December 2007). "Guardian and Apax snap up a fifth of Emap". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  11. "Emap to change name to Top Right Group and split into three". The Daily Telegraph. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  12. "Emap brand to be scrapped as all its titles move digital-only". The Guardian. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  13. "Top Right Group rebrands to Ascential". Fipp. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  14. "Guardian and Apax share £80m from Ascential flotation". The Guardian. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  15. "Events". EMAP. Retrieved 11 June 2016.

External links

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