UBM acquires 70% of US catering tradeshow business Catersource for $5 million

United Business Media has acquired a 70% equity stake in the Catersource catering conference and exhibition and its sister show Event Solutions, which serves the event planning industry. UBM has acquired the majority stake from Catersource’s private owners for a total cash consideration of $5 million, on behalf of UBM Live.

Founded in 1982 and based in Minneapolis, Catersource hosts an annual conference and exhibition for the USA catering and event planning industry, as well as awards events and supporting print and digital marketing platforms. The events take place annually during February and March in Las Vegas. This year’s Catersource and Event Solutions shows attracted over 10,000 delegates and more than 4,500 sponsor and exhibitor companies.

USA catering industry revenues grew at 9% in 2010 – exceeding $14 billion – with similar rates of growth forecast for this year. The USA catering industry is highly fragmented, comprising approximately 80,000 catering operations nationwide. Catersource serves both the institutional and private segments of the catering industry.

Catersource will become part of UBM Live, adding to UBM Live’s portfolio of events serving the Food & Leisure industries both in the USA and internationally. The portfolio includes brands such as Cruise Shipping, Food Ingredients, Health Ingredients, Leisure Industry Week and Confex.

Founder Michael Roman and his partner Kelvin Lee, together with Catersource’s 13 employees, will remain with the business following completion of the acquisition. In 2010 Catersource generated approximately $4 million of revenue.

The acquisition is expected to meet UBM’s cost of capital hurdle rate in its first full year of ownership.

Simon Foster, Chief Executive of UBM Live said:

“Catersource is the leading events business in the fast-growing US catering industry. We see strong opportunities to grow the brand by leveraging our US and worldwide events infrastructure, as well as driving synergies with other UBM events. We are delighted that Kelvin Lee, Mike Roman and their team will be joining UBM Live and look forward to working with them to develop the business going forward.”

UK, London & USA, Minneapolis, MN

Related articles: