UBM acquires Allworld Exhibitions

allworld2UBM plc is to acquire Allworld Exhibitions for $485 million.

Allworld is a pure-play events business serving nine different industry sectors. It operates 51 tradeshows (a mixture of annual and biennial shows) in 11 countries: Singapore, China & Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, South Korea, Bahrain and Kuwait, and is the leading privately-held Asian exhibitions organiser (with a position in the Middle East). Allworld has events in sectors including Food & Hospitality, Packaging, Manufacturing, TMT and Oil & Gas.  It has international sales teams based in London and Singapore; and has approximately 250 employees.

Commenting on the acquisition, Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM, said: “The acquisition of Allworld is wholly in line with our Events First strategy and represents an exceptional opportunity to accelerate growth by investing in a high-quality events business.  In so doing we cement our position as the leading events business in Asia and achieve the number one position in the fast-growing ASEAN region.  We see excellent opportunities to accelerate organic growth in the business.

Allworld generated revenues of $97.2 million and EBITDA of $37.6 million (38.7% margin) during the twelve months ended 30 June 2016, of which $50.9 million was from annual events. Over the last 10 years the total revenues of the Business have grown at a 7.3% CAGR. 

Annual events revenue for the period July to December 2015 was $29.4 million and for the period January to June 2016 was $21.5 million. Annual events revenue has grown at a 6.6% CAGR over the last two financial years and growth is expected to accelerate to double digit in each of calendar years 2017 and 2018. Annual events revenue growth rates are then expected to return to historic levels (7-8%) after 2018.

Biennial events represent approximately 40% of Allworld’s revenues on a calendar year basis, with modestly higher revenues in even years.  Biennial revenues in the year to December 2015 were approximately $39.5 million and are expected to be relatively flat in the year to December 2017, reflecting good growth in the underlying odd-year portfolio, offset by headwinds in the Oil & Gas events.  Strong growth is expected in 2018, at least in line with annual events, reflecting the revenue synergies and some recovery in the Oil & Gas events.

EBITDA margins in the year to December 2017 are expected to be approximately 35%, reflecting the biennial mix. Significant margin expansion is expected thereafter, primarily driven by revenue growth. 

As at 30 June 2016, Allworld had gross assets of $62.9 million and generated an operating profit of $37.1 million for the twelve months ended 30 June 2016. 

The deal is expected to close on 16 December in all geographies except Bahrain. Completion of the acquisition of the Bahrain entity containing Allworld’s Middle Eastern events is conditional upon completion of local reorganisation steps and approvals and is expected to occur within the next month.

UK, London & (Singapore, China & Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, South Korea, Bahrain and Kuwait)

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