Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

Sift Media acquires public sector publisher

Online B2B publisher Sift Media has expanded its range of titles with the acquisition of the successful PublicTechnology.net website portfolio.

The Bristol-based online community specialist has made a move into public sector publishing with the purchase of Public Technology Limited. Sift Media will take on 10 separate content driven titles that serve 15,000 registered subscribers, 150,000 unique users, generating upwards of 1 million page impressions per month. The acquisition was brokered by Prism Consult Ltd, the media M&A consultancy.

Public Technology also runs the annual e-Government National Awards – a technology awards event for the public sector, and was established in 2003 by founder Chris Histed.

Public Technology has become the UK's most-read online public sector news and information network, with a strong reputation both online and through the e-Government National Awards.

The acquisition will also allow Sift Media to move into the paid-for subscription market, with a number of subscription solutions already available on Public Technology’s tender alert sites (including TechTenders.net and HealthTenders.net), with more in the pipeline.

Ben Heald, CEO of Sift Media says: "We’ve wanted to add public sector audiences to our portfolio for a while, and Public Technology fits like a glove. Chris Histed has done a tremendous job to build the brand; and working with Chris our teams can now develop the business using their sales, editorial and community-building expertise."

"Even though public sector spending might be somewhat curtailed over the next few years, there’s still going to be billions procured; with huge opportunities for us to help vendors and customers find each other through our range of publishing products."

With the public sector expected to make serious drives for efficiency, the UK government is likely to remain one of the largest customers to the technology industry. Government IT spend is expected to exceed £14 billion in the period 2008/09: 20% more than any other government in Europe, and accounting for almost 1.2% of the UK’s GDP.

The future of government service delivery depends on this technology investment. Over the next decade, mobile and internet technology will increasingly become the preferred method of public interaction and information transfer for government departments.

While for the 50,000 IT professionals employed directly by the government, at both central and local levels, technologies involving networking and connectivity, web services, CRM systems, call centres and mobile technologies will become a fundamental part of the universal drive for greater efficiency.

Join the AOP group on LinkedIn - open for all Members to join
Subscribe to AOP's e-newsletter.