Emerald Expositions acquires Total Tech Summit for US$28M

Emerald ExpositionsUS event producer Emerald Expositions has announced the acquisition of leading technology event Total Tech Summit and a group of complementary technology intelligence brands from EH Media for approximately $28 million in cash.

The acquired brands have delivered impressive organic growth in recent years, driven by increases in digital revenues, now representing approximately half of total revenues, as well as solid event revenue growth. These brands are strategically aligned with Emerald’s CEDIA Expo and Connecting Point Marketing Group (CPMG) businesses, and include:

Total Tech Summit: a premier hosted-buyer event serving the residential, commercial and security integrator markets;

CEPro: a leading media brand for custom technology integrators in the residential market and the media partner of Emerald’s CEDIA Expo trade show;

Commercial Integrator: a top information source for commercial technology integrators serving small and midsize businesses;

Security Sales & Integration: a leading media brand for residential and commercial security installation contractors; and

Campus Safety: a leading media brand serving security professionals responsible for schools and academic campuses with several events and intelligence products.

David Loechner, Emerald’s president and CEO, commented, “We are thrilled to welcome the EH Media team and their highly valuable brands and assets to Emerald. Ken Moyes has built an impressive group of interconnected, technology-oriented brands that are focused on the integration of audio, video, communications, IT, security and energy management products into buildings of all types. We see a tremendous opportunity to deliver continued strong organic growth in these businesses while also achieving synergies as we integrate these brands and assets into Emerald. We believe that this acquisition, once fully integrated, will not only strengthen our existing trade shows but also expand both their relevance and growth profile in several of our key end markets.”

USA, San Juan Capistrano, CA & Framingham, MA

FC Business Intelligence targets growth with LDC investment

LDCMid-market private equity investor LDC has backed the management buyout of global events company FC Business Intelligence. The value of the transaction is undisclosed.

FCBI delivers conference and exhibition events with a focus on providing thought leadership in a diverse range of sectors that are facing both challenges and opportunities from technological and strategic innovation including the energy, insurance, pharmaceuticals transportation and travel sectors. Its offering is designed to help senior business professionals stay at the forefront of change through insight sharing and networking with peers.

The investment will enable FCBI to target further organic growth as it plans to increase the scale of its events and expand into new markets, including Asia. The business will also look to make a number of acquisitions both at home and overseas.FC Business Intelligence

With 130 employees based at its head office in Shoreditch, FCBI operates globally with 65 per cent of the company’s annual turnover of £30 million generated in the US, 20 per cent in continental Europe and 10 per cent in the UK.

LDC is backing FCBI’s existing management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Piers Latimer. The investment marks an exit for its original founders.

The deal was led by investment director David Andrews and investment manager Alex Wilby. David Andrews and Rob Schofield will join the board of the business with Tim Trotter joining as Non-Executive Chairman, bringing significant experience of growing PE-backed people businesses internationally. David Gilbertson, former CEO of EMAP and Informa, also joins as a Non-Executive Director, bringing a wealth of industry experience.

Piers Latimer, Chief Executive Officer of FCBI, said, “We have established a worldwide reputation for developing high-quality strategic events that deliver the insights business leaders need to direct their companies and shape their markets. With demand for our services only set to increase, we’re in a great position to accelerate growth. Bringing on board an experienced and well-connected investment partner in LDC felt right at this juncture and we’re excited to be moving forward with their support”.

David Andrews, investment director at LDC in London, added, “Piers and his management team have overseen a remarkable period of growth for FCBI thanks to their focus on content-rich, delegate-led events that deliver real value to more than 9,000 attendees and 1,400 sponsors and exhibitors each year. The opportunity now is for the management team to strengthen and extend this growth and we’re looking forward to supporting them on this journey.”

UK, London

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Blackstone completes acquisition of PSAV

BlackstonePrivate equity and real estate funds managed by Blackstone have completed the acquisition of event experiences company PSAV. As part of the completed transaction, affiliates of Goldman Sachs will be reinvesting alongside Blackstone in the transaction to continue to participate in the ongoing growth of PSAV. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

PSAV is a global leader in event experiences, providing creative, production, advanced technology and staging services to help meeting planners deliver more dynamic and impactful experiences at their meetings, trade shows and special events. The team consists of more than 9,000 professionals across 1,500 on-site venue locations and 49 branch offices within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. It was recently named to the Forbes 2018 America’s Best Employer list.

PSAV delivers on its purpose of connecting and inspiring people by creating impactful event experiences. Through its deep expertise in creative, production, advanced technology and staging services, PSAV is an invaluable partner to meeting and event planners. It is the trusted provider of choice at leading venues across the globe.

In June, the companies announced a definitive agreement for Blackstone to acquire PSAV from affiliates of Goldman Sachs and Olympus Partners.

USA, New York, NY & Schiller Park, IL

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Vitesse Media to buy InvestmentNews for $27.1M

Vitesse Media plcDigital media and events company Vitesse Media is to acquire InvestmentNews, a leading source of news, analysis and information to the financial advisory community from its parent, Crain Communications Inc., for approximately $27.1 million. The deal is expected to close mid-August.

As part of the deal, InvestmentNews’ leadership team will remain intact — as will its award-winning editorial, multimedia, audience, custom, research & data, marketing, sales and event divisions.

Crain launched InvestmentNews in 1997 as a weekly magazine covering the U.S. financial advice profession. InvestmentNews has since expanded its engagement with its core audience through the launch of an award-winning website, live events and research and data offerings. Today, InvestmentNews is the No. 1 media brand in the financial advice market, with more than 150,000 weekly print readers. InvestmentNews.com garners an average of 545,000 unique visitors each month. In addition, InvestmentNews operates a growing events business, which includes the Retirement Income Summit, Woman Adviser Summit and Best Practices Workshop. It is also produces editorial and custom research relevant to advisers and the businesses that serve them.

Simon Stilwell, who was appointed CEO of Vitesse in August 2017, said, “InvestmentNews is the leading brand in its community, it fits well into the Vitesse stable and provides the company with the opportunity to pursue other bolt on opportunities to expand, especially in its events and data business. Its American presence further allows us to expand our reach geographically, a key aspect of our future strategy.”

Upon completion of the deal, Vitesse will change its name to Bonhill Group plc, subject to shareholders’ approval.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

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UBM acquires 75% stake in ECMI ITE Asia for £2.8M

UBMUBMMG Holdings, a subsidiary of UBM, which recently became part of the Informa Group, has acquired ITE Group’s 75 per cent stake in Malaysia-based ECMI ITE Asia for a cash consideration of MYR 15m (approx. £2.8 million). The sale forms part of ITE’s Transformation and Growth (TAG) strategy.

ECMI runs the Cosmobeauté series of beauty trade exhibitions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, and the biennial Lab series of Scientific Instrument and Laboratory Equipment trade exhibitions in Malaysia and Indonesia.

ITE acquired a 50 per cent stake in ECMI in 2013. Under the terms of an existing arrangement with ECMI’s founder shareholders CP Saw and WP Cheong, the organiser acquired an additional 25 per cent stake in ECMI on 18 June 2018, taking its total shareholding to 75 per cent. With the acquisition by UBM, ITE has disposed of its entire 75 per cent holding in ECMI. The proceeds will be reinvested into the Group.

In the year to 30 September 2017 (which excludes the biennial Lab exhibitions), ECMI had gross assets of MYR 13.2 million (£2.5 million), reported a turnover of MYR 9.8 million (£1.8 million) and a loss before tax of MYR 0.4 million (£0.07 million). In ITE’s consolidated financial statements for the same period, ITE recognised a loss of MYR 0.13 million (£0.03 million) in respect of ECMI, presented within ‘share of results of associates and joint ventures’.

Mark Shashoua, CEO of ITE Group, said, “A key element of our TAG Programme is managing our portfolio of events, and this transaction marks a further step in delivering this strategy. We are pleased to have found a supportive Malaysia-based partner for ECMI’s events which can ensure the investment required for ECMI’s continued success.”

UK, London & Malaysia, Selangor

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QD Events acquires Scottish Fitness and Nutrition Expo

QD EventsScottish event organiser QD Events has acquired the independently run Scottish Fitness and Nutrition Expo, which has experienced significant growth since it was founded by friends Neil Maclean and Jamie Rose in 2014. QD Events, which acquired 25 per cent of SFN Expo in 2016, bid for the remaining 75 per cent after the show’s record attendance last year. Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The next edition of SFN Expo will run from 6th-7th October 2018 at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow and has already hit record stand and ticket sales. The show will see the return of the World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, and huge industry brands such as Les Mills creating interactive fitness experiences for visitors. SFN 2018 will also host the finals of The Scottish Throwdown and Scotland’s Strongest Man.

The show adds to QD Events’ repertoire which already includes Scotland’s largest exhibition, The Scottish Caravan, Holiday Home and Motorhome Show, IRN-BRU Carnival, Scottish Wedding Show, Independent Living Scotland and Resonate Festival of Gaming.

Greg Cherry, managing director of QD Events, said: “We are delighted to add SFN Expo to the QD Events portfolio. We have worked closely with SFN’s organisers over the past few years to help it reach its true potential, scale and accessibility to the mainstream fitness market.”

UK, Glasgow

Mercator Media acquires Coastlink Network

Mercator Media LtdMercator Media, the parent company of Boating Business, has acquired Coastlink Network Ltd, a neutral pan-European network dedicated to the promotion of short sea and feeder container shipping and how it forms part of a competitive supply chain. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Coastlink was established in 2004 by shipping professionals David Cheslin and Gavin Roser. Since then, Coastlink has hosted a series of 18 conferences and meetings to maximise the utilisation and potential of shipping networks; achieve an environmentally friendly modal shift to shipping; encourage more services linking ports in European waters; and develop collaboration between shippers, ports, shipping lines and freight organisations. The next Coastlink conference will be co-located with Seawork, from 11-13 June 2019, in Southampton, UK.

Mr Roser, currently ‘Ambassador at Large’ of not-for-profit think tank, The European Freight and Logistics Leaders’ Forum, will continue as a consultant to Coastlink to ensure its continued relevance.

Andrew Webster, CEO of Mercator Media, commented: “Mercator is a great new home for the Coastlink Network events. It fits very well with what we do and complements our magazines that overlap this marketplace; Port Strategy, The MotorShip and Maritime Journal as well as our events, GreenPort Congress, Propulsion & Future Fuels and the well-known commercial marine exhibition, Seawork.”

UK, Fareham & London