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Emap acquires online fashion firm WGSN for £140m

LONFON - Emap has acquired Worth Global Style Network, an online fashion information, news and research company, for £140m.

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WSGN, which has customers in 60 countries in the fashion, design and style industries, provides information on trends from the latest catwalk shows, trade shows, street fashion and the storefronts of retailers.

Launched in 1998, by founders Julian and Marc Worth, WGSN employs more than 100 staff and is based in London with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Tokyo.

Derek Carter, Emap Communication's chief executive, said: "The acquisition of WGSN is in line with our strategy to develop and expand our five key vertical markets -- retail, construction, public sector, healthcare, and media -- while seeking to concentrate on premium, market-leading value-added products with a loyal customer base and superior growth profiles."

WSGN derives its revenue from subscriptions. Annual renewal rates for the service have been in excess of 90%. Its revenues are predominantly from Europe. The remainder is from Asia Pacific, mostly Hong Kong.

For the financial year ended December 2004, WSGN had revenues of £15m, pre-tax profits of £4m and gross assets of £37m.

WSGN provides designers, manufacturers and retailers with fast information on colours, shapes, textiles, materials and brands.

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