Spire Capital Partners Sells Leading Business Information and Publishing Company, Highline Media LLC


New York, November 9, 2006 – Spire Capital Partners announced that it has sold Highline Media LLC, a leading business-to-business information company serving the insurance and related financial industries, to Summit Business Media. 

Highline Media, based in Erlanger, KY, is one of the premier business-to-business information companies in the U.S. Highline Media publishes 9 magazines, including the National Underwriter, Claims and Wealth Manager; more than a dozen Web sites, an insurance database of financial information, continuing education and training for insurance professionals and more than 150 professional publications/reference guides. Additionally, the company hosts and operates five industry conferences geared towards insurance and financial professionals. 

“Highline Media has established itself as a premier business information company,” said Sean White, a partner at Spire Capital. “This was a well-executed growth buildup in the business-to-business sector thatSpire Capital launched in 2003. Under our ownership, Andy Goodenough and his talented management team have more than doubled the company’s revenues and quadrupled EBITDA through new product launches and numerous add-on acquisitions, all in a three-year period.”  

“We are extremely proud of the results we achieved during our partnership with Spire Capital,” Goodenough said. “The entire team at Spire Capital was very involved in growing Highline Media and we appreciate their many contributions to our success.”  Andrew Goodenough will remain with the company along with the other members of the executive team.  

BMO Capital Markets, the investment and corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO), represented Highline Media and acted as its exclusive financial advisor. Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal provided legal counsel to Spire Capital Partners and Highline Media on the transaction. 

About Spire Capital Partners
Spire Capital Partners, L.P. is a private equity firm founded in 2000, and has more than $350 million of capital under management. Spire partners with exceptional management teams to invest in small market buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and growth equity investments in the media, communications, information services and business services industries. Spire typically invests between $10 million and $40 million in companies with enterprise values from $25 million to $400 million. Spire and its predecessor fund have made investments in more than 25 portfolio companies. The firm is headquartered in New York. For more information, visit www.spirecapital.com.

About Highline Media
Highline Media LLC was formed by Spire Capital and Andrew Goodenough in October 2003 to acquire The National Underwriter Company, the leading publisher and reference provider to the insurance and financial industries. Magazine brands include the National Underwriter Property/Casualty and Life/Health weeklies, Claims, Tech Decisions, Insurance Advocate and Florida Underwriter; the reference tools TaxFacts and Fire, Casualty and Surety Bulletins, along with 150 other books and electronic products, and three conference events. In May 2004, the company added insurance and banking data assets, including regulatory, M&A and publicly traded data, from The Thomson Corporation. In the fall of 2005, Highline acquired Wealth Manager magazine from Bloomberg and Research and Futures magazines from Adams Business Media.  For more information, visit www.highlinemedia.com.

About BMO Capital Markets
BMO Capital Markets is a leading full-service North American financial services provider, with over 2,000 employees operating in 14 North American offices and 26 worldwide, offering corporate, institutional and government clients access to a complete range of investment and corporate banking products and services. BMO Capital Markets is a member of BMO Financial Group (TSX, NYSE: BMO), which provides personal and commercial banking and wealth management services under the BMO brand in Canada and Harris brand in the United States. For more information, visit www.bmocm.com.  

About Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal
Sonnenschein, with more than 700 attorneys and other professionals in 10 U.S. cities and a global reach, serves the legal needs of many of the world’s largest and best-known businesses, nonprofits and individuals. For more information, visit www.sonnenschein.com.