Informa acquires Yachting Promotions for £106M

flibsInforma is to acquire Yachting Promotions Inc. (“YPI”) from Active Interest Media, a privately-owned specialist US media group backed by PE firm Wind Point Partners. The YPI portfolio includes the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest in the world, plus Yachts Miami Beach, Palm Beach International Boat Show, Suncoast Boat Show and the St Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show.

Information will pay a cash consideration of $133m (£106m), including $5m which is subject to the business meeting performance and operating targets. Based on its results in the 12 months ended 31 December 2016, this represents a trailing acquisition multiple of 11.5 times EBITDA. The business also brings with it around $40m of net operating losses that are deductible for US tax purposes over a number of years, equating to a net present value of $33.9m. The inclusion of these tax assets implies a multiple of 8.6 times EBITDA.

Stephen A. Carter, Informa Group Chief Executive, said: “Following three years of private discussions, we are delighted to bring YPI into the Group. It will deepen our leadership in the growing international yachting and boating sector, with its attractive exhibitions complementing our existing ownership of the Monaco Yacht Show.”

On completion, the addition of YPI will make Informa’s Global Exhibitions Division the largest contributor to Group revenues and profit, with annual sales of more than £500m. The Division operates a portfolio of about 200 exhibition brands. 

The acquisition further increases Informa’s scale in the US, where the Group has been buying and building a position over recent years through a combination of organic investment and a series of targeted acquisitions in verticals including Construction & Real Estate (Hanley Wood Exhibitions, WWETT), Natural Products (Virgo, Penton), Agriculture (Penton), Life Sciences (FIME) and Pop Culture (Orlando MegaCon, Dallas Comicon). Following the addition of YPI, on a pro-forma basis the US is expected to represent more than 50% of Group revenues and also over half of the Global Exhibitions Division.

The consideration will be funded through existing debt facilities. It is anticipated that the Group’s net debt to EBITDA ratio will be around 2.6 times immediately following completion, falling within the Group’s target range of 2.0 times to 2.5 times by the end of 2017. Completion is expected by early March. 

Note: On 6 March, Informa will announce full-year results for the 12-month period ending 31 December 2016.

UK, London & USA, El Segundo, CA

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Ascential plc acquires MediaLink for up to $207M

ascentialAscential plc the B2B media company, is to acquire US-based media advisory and business services provider MediaLink for an initial cash price of $69 million plus earnouts.

The earnouts are payable over the period to February 2021 based on the adjusted EBITDA of the business for the three years 2017 to 2019 and are expected to total between $42m and $62m. The earnouts are payable in cash or, for certain elements, shares at Ascential’s option and a portion of the earn-out payments is subject to founders remaining in employment with the company. The total aggregate consideration, including initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at $207m and requires stretching profit targets to be reached.

MediaLink reported unaudited revenue of $54 million and adjusted PBT of $14 million in 2016, with year-on-year growth of 29% and 24% respectively, and had gross assets of $11 million at December 2016.

The company serves the consumer goods and services segment and operates from four offices in the U.S. Michael Kassan founded Medialink in 2003, he will continue to run the business.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Ascential plc, said: “MediaLink is a leader in its industry, with a strong and very visible brand presence in the US. MediaLink is an excellent fit with our existing Ascential offering and I am confident we can help accelerate MediaLink’s business into new markets by using our assets and infrastructure over the coming months and years. I see synergies between MediaLink and our portfolio of products to significantly help accelerate our existing businesses and create additional value for shareholders.”

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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Wilmington acquire Health Service Journal from Ascential for £19M

hsjWilmington plc has acquired the Health Service Journal, a health information, insight and networking business, from Ascential plc for £19m with an adjustment for working capital, payable on completion.

The acquisition is expected to complete on 31 January 2017. HSJ will sit within Wilmington’s Insight division, aligned with Wilmington Healthcare.

HSJ revenue for the 12 months ended 31 December 2016 was £10m with pro-forma contribution before Group overheads of £4.4m. Recurring revenue from subscriptions and annual events represents around 70% of total revenue. HSJ’s gross assets at 30 June 2016 were £12.8m including intangible assets. 

The management team, led by Andy Baker and Alastair McLellan, will remain with the business and are included within the circa 60 employees transferring across to Wilmington. 

HSJ’s key products are:

  • HSJ.co.uk: A UK source of proprietary content, insight, comment and analysis on the UK healthcare sector. HSJ Online has approximately 17,000 users and is sold on an individual and corporate subscription basis. 
  • HSJ Intelligence: a digital data subscription product with approximately 20,000 data points, which was launched in 2014. It has 115 enterprise customers from across the healthcare industry.  
  • HSJ Events: 11 annual networking events including awards, large scale conferences and summits and the Health Service Journal Awards event. 
  • HSJ Marketing Services: targeted marketing solutions for the healthcare industry and a legacy digital recruitment offering.

Commenting on the acquisition Pedro Ros, Chief Executive of Wilmington plc, said: 

“I am pleased to be announcing this acquisition of Health Service Journal, which represents an exciting opportunity for Wilmington to acquire a brand of exceptional status in the UK Healthcare market, a primary source of critical information and insight to senior management and decision-makers in the NHS and wider healthcare sector.

UK, London

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A FUSION DEAL: Imbibe Media Limited sold to Reed Exhibitions

img_3849Imbibe Media Limited, the organisation behind Imbibe Live, the Imbibe media platforms, and the successful annual Sommelier Wine Awards, has been sold to Reed Exhibitions, part of RELX Group. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Following the hugely successful launch of Imbibe magazine in 2007,  Imbibe Live was launched in 2010 and quickly established itself as the UK’s leading B2B exhibition focused on the complete range of on-trade drinks – from spirits, wines, beers and ciders, to cocktails, tea, coffee, waters and other associated products. The 2016 edition was held on 4-5 July and played host to more than 250 exhibiting companies from across the on-trade industry, attracting almost 12,000 industry attendees from across the UK. The event will complement Reed Exhibitions’ German on-trade drinks event, Bar Convent Berlin (BCB).

Richard Mortimore, Chief Executive Officer, Reed Exhibitions UK, said: “Imbibe Live, together with its media platforms, has established itself as the UK’s leading event and voice for the on-trade with an unparalleled reputation for delivering quality and innovation to the £10.6bn on-trade industry. We are delighted to be welcoming the Imbibe team to Reed Exhibitions and looking forward to taking its events and media to even greater heights.”

Simon White, Co-founder of Imbibe Media, commented: “The UK hospitality industry is the most creative and exciting in the world. Through all its events and media, Imbibe is at the centre of this dynamic industry. We are thrilled that Reed Exhibitions shares our passion for the sector and our vision for the future. Joining the world’s leading event company will enable Imbibe to develop faster and thus reach, educate and inspire a greater number of on-trade professionals. It will also give way more oxygen to the wonderful brands and services that help make this constantly evolving sector what it is. These are exciting times for both Imbibe and the on-trade – let’s face it, who gets bored of being asked out to a great restaurant or bar?”

Darren Johnson, B2B Divisional Director, Reed Exhibitions UK will oversee the new events. The next edition of Imbibe Live will take place at Olympia, London, on 3-4 July 2017.

The Fusion Team has completed over 100 UK and cross border for its private, corporate and private equity clients, Fusion Corporate Partners is a sector specialist corporate finance advisory firm specialising in the sale of middle-market companies with transactional values ranging from £5 million to over £100 million.

UK, London

Recent Fusion transactions include:

Exhibitions & Conferences

Media & Business Information

Business Support Services and Energy & Environmental Services

Healthcare

Broadcast

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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Prospects Education Services acquires Optimus Professional Publishing for £1.5M

prospects-edProspects Education Services Limited has acquired Optimus Professional Publishing Limited  from Electric Word plc. for £1,512,501 in cash. A cash balance of £613,113 was left in the business.  Both the consideration and cash left in the business are subject to adjustment through a completion accounts process at a later date. Optimus provides live events and online training for leaders in UK schools to support staff development and school improvement.

In the year ended 30 November 2015, Optimus made a loss before tax of £1,019,649 (which includes  a charge of £725,588 towards Company central overheads, and a management charge to the Company of £177,500) on turnover of £2,908,112. The value of the gross assets of Optimus at 30 November 2015 was £2,306,398.

Optimus Education was founded in 1997 to help primary and secondary school leadership teams manage staff development efficiently and effectively, stay compliant and drive whole school improvement through a variety of conferences, events and training resources.

Andrew Thraves, Director of Education for Prospects, says: “I am delighted that we have acquired Optimus Education. I’m equally pleased that Optimus Education has chosen us as their new home.”

Andrew added: “Together we’ll be in a great position to provide schools and multi-academy trusts an even more comprehensive ‘one-stop-shop’ offer. The government talks about the importance of a school-led system as central to raising standards. By joining forces we will offer school awards and curriculum resources, in-school consultancy and training, and high-profile conferences and events for teachers and senior leaders intended to identify, showcase and help embed good practice and ‘what works’. Acquiring Optimus Education enables Prospects to provide education providers with the complete package.”

UK, London

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Accentual acquires One Click Retail

ascentialAscential plc, the  business-to-business media company has acquired US-based e-commerce analytics provider Oneclickretail.com LLC for an initial cash consideration of $44 million plus future earn outs.  

Future earn outs, based on multiples of adjusted EBITDA, are payable in the four years 2016 to 2019  in cash or, for certain elements, shares at Ascential’s option.  A portion of the earn-out payments is also subject to founders remaining in employment with the company.  The total aggregate consideration, including initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at $225 million in the event that stretching profit targets are reached. The transaction is expected to complete on 31 August 2016.

one-clickOne Click Retail provides data analytics to help brands optimise their eCommerce activities.  Customers include Procter & Gamble, HP, Unilever, Hamilton Beach, Nestle and Panasonic.  Revenue is generated predominantly through recurring annual subscriptions to the company’s Dashboard product which provides insights to help customers drive sales through Amazon and other eCommerce retailers.  The insights focus on product market share, its drivers, and the actions that can be taken to increase sales.

 One Click Retail had revenue of $4.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $3.4 million for the twelve month period ending December 2015, with a year-on-year growth of 59% and 78% respectively.  Gross assets at December 2015 amounted to $0.8 million.  Annualised subscription contract value stood at $10.1 million as of July 2016.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Accentual said, “We are delighted to welcome One Click Retail and Spencer and his team to Ascential.  It is a quality business that we have been tracking for some time in an exciting part of the retail vertical.  As a high-growth, globally scalable subscription information service product, One Click Retail fits with Ascential’s strategy of owning scalable, global market-leading products and we look forward to helping its talented management team to accelerate its growth.”

The company was founded in 2013 by former Amazon and Walmart executive Spencer Millerberg, and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

UK, London & USA, Salt Lake City, UT