Canadian PE acquires Nielsen’s exhibition unit

nielsenPrivate equity firm Onex Corporation is to acquire Nielsen Expositions from the media measurement and retail information group, Nielsen. Onex are paying $950 million in cash. Nielsen Expositions is a leading operator of large, business-to-business trade shows in the United States and Nielsen’s last non-core business. 

For the year ended December 31, 2012, Nielsen Expositions generated revenues of approximately $183 million, adjusted EBITDA of $97 million and incurred capital expenditures of $2 million on a stand-alone basis, so Onex are paying around 9.8 times last year’s EBITDA.

Onex Partners III, Onex’ $4.7 billion private equity fund, will make an equity investment of approximately $350 million, of which Onex’ share is approximately $85 million as a Limited Partner in the Fund. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter.

Based in San Juan Capistrano, California, Nielsen Expositions produces around 65 business-to-business tradeshows and conference events each year across nine diversified end-markets, including general merchandise, sports, hospitality and retail design, jewelry, and photography. Nielsen Expositions has approximately 240 employees and operates out of four U.S. offices.

“Nielsen Expositions’ strength in the U.S. business-to-business tradeshow industry is evidenced by its high renewal rates, long-standing exhibitor relationships, and the brand strength of the underlying shows,” said Kosty Gilis, an Onex Managing Director. “This is a great opportunity to partner with David and his management team to build on the company’s market leadership position through continued expansion of its existing shows as well as select acquisitions.”

Onex has approximately $15 billion of assets under management, including $5 billion of proprietary capital, in private equity, credit securities and real estate.

Canada, Toronto & USA, San Juan Capistrano, CA & New York. NY

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