Iconic Labs acquires IP of Gay Star News

LONDON: Iconic Labs, a multi-divisional new media and technology business has acquired the IP of Gay Star News Ltd (GSN) including www.gaystarnews.com, a website focused on events related to and concerning the global LGBTI community.

The acquisition is part of the Company’s strategy to build critical mass and in particular expand its proprietary targeted distribution channels that the Company can utilise under the Iconic Labs brand offering.

This transaction follows the announcement of the agreement to acquire Social Alchemist a social media focussed agency, which provides online media consultancy and content generation, and distribution through its established platforms which connect with over 12 million people.

GSN is currently in the top three of LGBTI publishers in the UK and focusses on creating content on news topics both within the LGBTI community and general news. It has a strong social presence on Facebook boasting c.800,000 followers, the support from a strong celebrity base and has pioneered campaigns and events which have had global exposure. Its platforms and content generation fit in with the Iconic Labs business model of developing content and distribution channels for targeted influential audiences.

The IP was acquired through the Company acquiring the entire issued share capital of Nuuco Media Ltd (NCM) for £1. NCM, a company previously owned by David Sefton, a director of Iconic Labs, had acquired the IP from GSN following GSN going into a creditors voluntary liquidation.

The reason for enacting the transaction in this manner was because the appointed liquidators insisted on concluding the transaction for the sale of GSN’s IP in a very short timetable, for which NCM was able to fulfil. The outstanding consideration owed to the liquidator by NCM of £33,000 is payable by Iconic Labs with settlement being satisfied using funds previously allocated by the Board for small acquisitions such as this. Iconic Labs has not acquired any costs or liabilities associated with GSN, which reported unaudited revenues in FY 2018 of over £500,000.

The Board believe the acquisition of such a credible brand, with the proven capability to generate in excess of £500,000 a year in revenue for £33,000, represents exceptional value for Iconic Labs.

Although the liquidation process does not allow the transferral of contracts and the associated derived revenues to the new purchaser, the Iconic Labs management is already actively reengaging historic clients and is confident in securing these relationship and the associated revenues in the future.

The Board believes that by utilising its experience and putting GSN under the Iconic Labs umbrella, it can maximise the opportunity and create a profitable centre for the Company. The Board plans to work on a rebrand and relaunch of GSN in the coming months and believes the business will be highly complementary to the agency and consulting offerings from the Iconic Labs group as a whole. Importantly the Board do not believe that significant working capital will be required to bring the relaunched GSN to profitability in a short time frame.

Chief Executive Officer, John Quinlan, said: “This is acquisition is a further step forward in building our platform for both the distribution and creation of online content. We believe we have the capabilities in house to leverage the strong position Gay Star News has in its targeted marketplace, build the business into the number one spot in terms of followers and make it a profitable business centre. It represents a strong fit for Iconic Labs and enables us to strengthen our market presence in the online media space and progress our business model.”

“GSN is one of the most credible and professional publishers for an LGBTI audience. We believe that strong editorial independence and high levels of engagement and interaction is very important to both the LGBTI community, brand and long term prospects of the business, and we are looking forward to working on making GSN a success.

“I remain fully committed to building a successful business and with economies of scale being achieved we believe we can both attract new corporates and people to the Iconic Labs family and reward shareholders for their patience.”

Business Development Officer, Liam Harrington, said, “Gay Star News is a fantastic platform which has a loyal and engaged following. It has a premium status within its targeted audience and I believe our team’s expertise can increase engagement numbers and further build on the strong market presence already achieved.”

Edited by Nayyar Iqbal

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