Kenilworth Media Inc., based here, has purchased the assets of Markham, Ont.-based Hubbard Marketing & Publishing Limited, including three magazines—Pool & Spa Marketing, Piscines & Spas and Pools, Spas & Patios—and the annual Art of Water event.
Founder Richard Hubbard put the company up for sale earlier this year and Kenilworth outbid all suitors, including American b-to-b giant Hanley Wood, according to publisher Ellen Kral. Though she would not reveal the sale price, Kral admitted that the deal is the largest Kenilworth has ever made.
Kenilworth will absorb all Hubbard staff, including Richard and his wife Anita (who handles advertising), bringing the company’s staff up to 50. The Hubbards have agreed to stay with the company for a minimum of three years.
“I can’t believe it,” says Kral of Kenilworth’s growing personnel. “I’m thinking, ‘Where did all these people come from?’”
Kral says she’s “thrilled” about the acquisitions. The bimonthly Pool & Spa Marketing (from which an annual Reference and Directory is also produced) covers the North American swimming pool and spa/hot tub industry. Founded as a Canadian-focused trade magazine in 1977, the magazine had eliminated all competitive magazines in the country by 1984.
The French-language Piscines & Spas covers the same industry with a Quebec focus, while the three-year-old Pools, Spas & Patios is a consumer book for homeowners looking to build their own “backyard oasis.” According to Kral, the magazine has an average sell-through rate of 40% at Home Depots.
Hubbard, who is vacationing in Atlantic Canada, could not be reached.