A Fusion Deal: AI Business sold to Informa (Knect365)

AI Business

AI Business, the media and events organisation dedicated to Artificial Intelligence in business, has has been sold to Knect365, Informa PLC’s Knowledge & Networking Division. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for AI Business. The Fusion team was led by Mark Eisenstadt, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

AI Business, is the foremost community in Artificial Intelligence for Business. The AI Summit Series and AIBusiness.Org provide exclusive content from the foremost innovators in AI; including Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Accenture and IBM. The summit series and online portal cover all major industries where uptake of AI is significant, including; Marketing, Travel & Transport, Finance, Professional Services, Healthcare and Retail. The business was founded by Daniel Pitchford and George Kipouros, who will continue to drive the business forward.


Mark Eisenstadt

Fusion’s Mark Eisenstadt commented, ” ‘George & Dan have rapidly created the community forum for this dynamic and booming industry. It was a pleasure to represent such a professional and dedicated duo and their skilled and motivated workforce.  The Knect365 brand, offers enormous growth synergies within their Thought Leadership ecosystem. Fusion has recently and in the past represented for sale a number of leading edge innovation worldwide media businesses that are helping to drive the technology and telecoms sectors growth. We are pleased to be working with a number of other innovative, market leading related businesses that will come to market in the short to medium term.”

UK, London

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CloserStill acquires Online Educa Berlin

CloserStillCloserStill Media is to acquire Online Educa Berlin, a cross-sector conference on technology-

supported learning and training, from ICWE GMbH for an undisclosed sum. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in Berlin, Germany in 1995, OEB is an annual international conference on technology-supported learning and training (e-learning), welcoming over 2,000 delegates from across the corporate, education and public sectors, and including an exhibition featuring more than 80 international Edtech companies and institutions.

The acquisition will complement CloserStill’s existing event brand, Learning Technologies, which has events in Paris and London.

Commenting on the acquisition and the launch plans for Learning Technologies Germany in 2018 alongside OEB, CloserStill’s learning group director, Mark Penton, said: “We are genuinely excited to bring the highly respected OEB event into our family of market-leading events and to work with its founder Rebecca Stromeyer.

“We see a significant opportunity to evolve OEB into one of Europe’s most important learning events with the introduction of our Learning Technologies brand into the heart of the European marketplace.”

Germany, Berlin, UK, London

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LG Energy Group acquires Guild Energy

LG Energy Group logo smlLancashire based LG Energy Group has acquired Guild Energy, an energy procurement business based in Liverpool. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LGE Managing Director, Asif Rizvi believes “These are exciting times for both the LGE and Guild Energy. The acquisition of Guild Energy further enhances our customer offering as the merger of SME with our current Industrial and Commercial products allows us to provide a more holistic approach to the market. The sharing of people, knowledge and systems across the companies will only strengthen the management and direction of both businesses”.

Karen Trepte remains as Managing Director of Guild Energy while Co-founder Paul Trepte becomes group risk manager within the wider Rigby Organisation, which is controlled by Simon Rigby, chairman of LG Energy Group.

UK, Blackpool & Liverpool


Bubble Communications acquires VOX National Events

Bubble Communications, the PR, marketing and events agency specialising in the media and entertainment technology and services sectors, has acquired VOX National Events, the established organiser and producer of the VOX Summit (the UK conference for the voiceover and audio industry), VOX Awards and VOXMAS festive party. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Posy Brewer and Sadie Groom

“As the organiser of many events including awards ceremonies, conferences, product launches and social events, this acquisition opportunity was a perfect fit with our PR and marketing work in the pro-audio and production communities,” said Sadie Groom, Managing Director, Bubble Communications. “Posy has built an amazing business which attracts the top level of talent in the voiceover community. We are excited to build on the events and community she has created and take them to the next level.”

Posy Brewer, owner of VOX, commented, “Bubble and VOX National Events come together to create the perfect match with their deep industry roots and well-respected brands. Sadie and her team are brilliant at what they do, and I’m thrilled to see Bubble taking over the helm of VOX and building on the solid and well-established foundations to promote audio excellence to its optimum level.

UK, Pinewood Studios & Guildford


Parallel Media Group to acquire Brick Live and Parallel Live, to create Live Company Group

PMGlogoParallel Media Group plc is to acquire Brick Live and Parallel Live, to create a new live entertainment events company – Live Company Group – and bring BRICKLIVE  to London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

The acquisition of the two companies and of partners’ shares in Brick Live Far East, are valued at £10m, and the company is raising £1.26m through a share placing at 30p. On completion, the enlarged group will have a market value of £14.5m.

To reflect the Enlarged Group’s new business focus it will be renamed Live Company Group plc (AIM: LVCG) on Completion.

The acquisitions of Brick Live and Parallel Live are part of the PMG’s strategic plans to expand its live entertainment offering. BRICKLIVE (Lego) events have been well-received globally and last weekend, BRICKLIVE shows were hosted simultaneously across three continents – Europe, Asia and South America.

The directors believe that the increased profile of being part of a public company will assist Brick Live’s growth strategy and support it in finding further high-quality licensee partners for events.

The Company’s strategy is to build on the success of BRICKLIVE partner-driven events in the UK, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Brazil to further extend the global footprint of these shows, with a focus on the Far East and China, in particular. 

David Ciclitira, executive chairman at Parallel Media Group, said: “Since our Birmingham NEC show in October 2016, we have been on an amazing growth journey that is testament to both the talented BRICKLIVE team, and our phenomenal partners. The acquisition of Brick Live and Parallel Live, and the bringing of BRICKLIVE to the public market, couldn’t come at a better time. Having just successfully launched three BRICKLIVE shows on three continents simultaneously, this is a momentous point in a very successful year. This transaction will give us the springboard we need to take our stand-out events to the next level; expanding into an even greater geographic and fostering an incredible learning environment for even more children around the globe, teaching them that there’s no limit to their creativity.”

UK, London

Euromoney acquires TowerXchange

Euromoney plcEuromoney Institutional Investor PLC has acquired Seven Site Media Limited, trading as TowerXchange. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TowerXchange is an information and events business which has become a source of information on the tower market, the infrastructure supporting the growth of the mobile telecoms market. Acquiring TowerXchange is part of Euromoney’s telecoms strategy to facilitate industry collaboration and trading in areas ranging from pricing to standards across the telecoms ecosystem. 

Rosalind Irving, Euromoney Divisional Director responsible for its telecoms businesses, said: “TowerXchange is an excellent business which serves an increasingly important part of telecoms infrastructure. It is strategic for Euromoney because it is highly complementary to the markets served by TelCap, BroadGroup (in which we invested in March) and Layer123 (acquired in April). We look forward to working with the expert TowerXchange team.”

UK, London

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ZPG to acquire Calcasa

zpgZPG Plc has acquired Calcasa, a provider of automated property valuations and statistical market analysis in the Netherlands, for €30.0 million (£26.5 million) on a cash-free, debt-free basis, with a performance-based earn-out of up to €50.0 million (£44.2 million).

Established in 2005, Calcasa is an automated valuation model and residential property market insights provider in the Netherlands. With the largest property database of over 10 million unique price points Calcasa provides property valuation and risk analysis to companies in the Dutch housing market including mortgage lenders, brokers, investors, surveyors, estate agents, developers, validation institutes, housing corporations, pension funds, government agencies, regulatory institutions, research companies and real estate funds.

Calcasa has a strong financial track record with a subscription revenue model underpinned by long term contracts with over 70% recurring revenues.  The company generated €5.0m (£4.4 million) profit before tax in the year to 31 December 2016 and the value of Calcasa’s gross assets was £5.5m as at 31 December 2016. The total consideration represents a maximum multiple of 10x FY17-FY20 Net Profit for Calcasa. 

Calcasa has an academic team of 15 based in Delft, Netherlands and following completion Calcasa will continue to operate as a standalone brand and platform led by its founders Evert Van de Wauwer and Bas Meeuwissen, who will be remaining with the business. 

Commenting on today’s announcement Alex Chesterman, Founder & CEO of ZPG said, “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Calcasa. The combination of Hometrack and Calcasa will give us unrivalled capabilities as an international property data platform and there is a clear opportunity to leverage our complementary products and relationships.

UK, London and Netherlands, EB Delft

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