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Joe Media is rescued from administration after buy-out

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Joe Media was founded by Niall McGarry

Joe Media was founded by Niall McGarry

Joe Media was founded by Niall McGarry

Joe Media UK has been bought out of administration by investment fund Greencastle Capital.

Both the Irish and UK arms of Joe will now be run by London-based Iconic Labs media group.

Joe Media, which was majority owned by entrepreneur Niall McGarry, generated in excess of £10m (€11m) of revenue per year, a statement from Iconic Labs said.

The acquisition brings some certainty to the business after a difficult year for the company.

In May Maximum Media, the firm behind the 'Joe' and 'Her' brands, entered examinership with debts to lenders, landlords and the Revenue of more than €6m. The firm suffered a substantial revenue hit over a 2017 "click farm" incident when an employee was found to have manipulated listenership figures on an AIB-sponsored podcast.

Under the terms of the management contract between Iconic Labs and Greencastle, Iconic will be paid a monthly management fee of £50,000 plus external costs, and receive 25pc of all profits generated by Joe Media if certain targets are met.

Iconic said it will work on growing the existing Joe channels and brands, as well as expanding the coverage into new areas and sports. It will also look to create profitable links into mainstream media content providers including terrestrial broadcasters.

Along with Joe.ie and Joe.uk the company owns other brands including Her.ie and SportsJoe.

Iconic said it expects Joe Media to return to profitability by next year. It added that it believes 'Her' and 'Her family' brands have got "significant potential after previously being underutilised".

John Quinlan, CEO of Iconic Labs, said: "The acquisition of the Joe Media UK businesses by Greencastle is by far the biggest deal we have been involved with as a company so far. Both the Joe Media business and the management contract structure fit our strategy of leveraging scarce capital while operating the best brands in digital media."

Greencastle Capital is managed jointly by David Sefton and Paul O'Donohoe. Mr Sefton will be chairman of Joe Media and Mr O'Donohoe executive vice chairman.

Irish Independent