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Arrow To Buy UBM's Technical, Electronics Media Portfolio For $23.5M

By purchasing UBM's $19 million technical and electronics media business, the distributor is aiming to grow the market for Internet of Things products.

Arrow Electronics is aiming to help seed the market for the Internet of Things (IoT) by purchasing UBM's $19 million technical and electronics media business.

The Centennial, Colo.-based distributor said its proposed $23.5 million acquisition of the U.S. and Asian versions of seven UBM publications -- including EE Times, EDN and Datasheets.com -- will give Arrow an outlet to help educate technical designers and engineers on IoT, as well as cloud, software and data center products.

"Arrow's unbiased thought leadership position in what's really been more of a product design space will be a significant source of traction and leads," Matt Anderson, Arrow's chief digital officer, told CRN. "We're very interested in having leading brands that are driving thinking around how to use technology."

[Related: Arrow Acquires United Technical Publishing, Boosting Content, Design Skills]

The deal, announced Friday, is subject to closing conditions and regulatory clearance in China. The publications generated $16 million of online revenue and $3 million of print revenue in 2015, according to UBM. CRN's parent company -- now known as The Channel Company -- was owned by UBM before a September 2013 management team buyout.

Anderson said very large enterprise and data center software vendors serving Arrow's Enterprise Computing Solutions (ECS) business have bought significant advertising space in the publications acquired from Hearst in an effort to drive education and adoption of their products among electronic and IoT-focused engineers.

Anderson said these publications should help inform readers early in their buying journey, well before they're Googling specific product names or SKU numbers. Specifically, Anderson said, they should help nontraditional IT buyers -- such as chemists, botanists and industrial designers -- identify new technology trends and how to apply these trends to their industry.

"Arrow and the industry will grow because Arrow is investing in fueling the pace of innovation," Anderson said. The UBM purchase comes more than 15 months after Arrow bought the United Technical Publishing arm of Hearst Media, which has focused on engineering-driven content, design and inventory tools.

Similar to Hearst, Anderson said the UBM products will be run at arm's length from the rest of Arrow and will maintain complete editorial independence and control.

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