New owners for Pest publications

It was announced today, 23 January 2020, that Pest, the independent magazine, Pest+ enews and website for pest management professionals published by Foxhill Publishing, has a new owner, Lewis Business Media (LBM). LBM is an independent, specialist business to business publisher. Founders Frances McKim and Helen Riby say the move has secured an exciting, long-term future for Pest.

Pest founders Helen Riby, left, and Frances McKim
Pest founders Helen Riby, left, and Frances McKim

Lewis Business Media (LBM) was formed in February 2012 by the Lewis family. Based in Uckfield in East Sussex, the company continues to be family-owned and publishes a range of specialist titles in both print and online media. Now employing 22 people, the portfolio includes a number of titles in the agriculture sector, as well as some magazines for niche professions. Pest is therefore a natural fit. The acquisition was completed on 22 January 2020.

Helen Riby comments: “We are very proud of what we’ve achieved with Pest over the past 11 years, but there is a limit to how much two people can do! Finding a new owner to take the publication on to its next stage hasn’t been easy. Our most important consideration was to ensure the publication retains its independence. We are very happy that our search has been fruitful. In Lewis Business Media we have found a small, specialist, independent publisher with all the right skills to nurture
our baby.”

But, as Frances McKim explains: “Pest control won’t be getting rid of us that easily! Rest assured we are not doing a moonlight flit, never to be seen again. We will still be attending events, involved making sure things get handed over smoothly and providing editorial content – although obviously, over the longer term, our contributions will reduce.

“Both Helen and I would like to thank all our readers for their encouraging comments and contributions and our advertisers for their commitment and financial support. Thanks are also due to our Technical Advisory Board members who have always been very generous with their advice,” adds Frances.

Simon Lewis, LBM managing director says: “I am very pleased we have completed this latest acquisition and I’m looking forward to getting involved in the pest control industry. Frances and Helen have done a great job running the magazine since its inception and I’m delighted they have both agreed to join the Technical Advisory Board and will continue to provide some content. So their expertise will not be lost!

“We plan to retain all that is great about the print magazine delivering news, analysis, technical advice and business features, and we will be looking to enhance the digital offering. The new editor will be Simon King who certainly has some big shoes to fill! Simon is currently the editor of OvertheCounter, the magazine for Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP) in the UK – the professional qualification required to sell certain animal health products. The majority of SQPs work in country stores so they, of course, sell pest control products too – so there is a natural cross over. Advertisers will be looked after by the new commercial team, led by Emma Sharp, sales director.

Emma Sharp, left, sales director with new Pest editor Simon King
Emma Sharp, left, sales director with new Pest editor Simon King

“The new Pest team will all be at PPC Live in Harrogate on 11 March. We look forward to meeting readers and advertisers alike!” concludes Simon.

Pest was launched in November 2008, since when it has established itself as a leading independent source of information for pest professionals, not only in the UK, but around the world.