Private equity firm invests in Best Version Media

Brookfield publisher gains resources from Bertram Capital

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Brookfield-based magazine publisher Best Version Media has received a “meaningful” investment from San Mateo, California-based private equity firm Bertram Capital.

Best Version Media CEO Dave Durand

According to its website, Bertram invests between $25 million and $100 million in lower middle market companies that have between $30 million and $250 million in revenue, and between $5 million and $30 million in EBITDA. It also provides operational and strategic resources for the companies in which it invests. Bertram’s investment criteria indicate it has a “preference for control” when it invests in a company.

BVM and Bertram declined to disclose the terms of this transaction.

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Best Version Media, formed in 2007 with five metro Milwaukee publications, now publishes more than 700 hyper-local neighborhood and community magazines across the U.S. and Canada with more than 4.5 million readers. It has grown rapidly, and now has about 125 employees, said Dave Durand, chief executive officer. BVM reported a 380 percent annual annual growth rate in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Last year, it was the fastest-growing Milwaukee-area company in the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Future 50 awards.

With the investment from Bertram, Best Version expects to increase its annual growth rate by another 20 percent, Durand said.

“They made a meaningful investment into the business for the purpose of a partnership that will accelerate the growth and opportunity for the individual members of Best Version Media,” he said. “There are no planned changes within the organization other than allowing access to Bertram Labs, a technology powerhouse, which will allow for accelerated growth.”

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“Bertram Capital is excited to support the innovative business model developed by Best Version Media, as it continues to alter the dynamics of traditional publishing,” said Ryan Craig, partner at Bertram Capital. “We look for investment opportunities where our in-house IT group, Bertram Labs, can help a company address its technology challenges, get to market faster and amplify its strengths. With BVM, we see a unique opportunity for the company to extend its already impressive reach as a publisher and to expand the portfolio of innovative solutions it offers to advertisers and consumers.”

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