Providence exhibits £300m bid for London Vet Show owner

Providence EquityProvidence Equity Partners , the private equity firm behind Ambassador Theatre Group, is in talks to buy exhibitions group CloserStill Media for about £300m, according to a report by Sky News.

CloserStill is being sold by Inflexion, another buyout firm, which backed the company in 2015. A significant proportion of CloserStill’s revenues come from outside the UK, with exhibitions such as Dentiste Expo in Paris and Cloud Expo Asia in Singapore among its events. The deal with Providence, which could be signed within weeks, follows the investor’s £600m sale of Clarion to Blackstone last year.


USA, Providence, RI & UK, London

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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UK private equity investment in the £10M-£10OM market grows by 44%

Data from the Lyceum Capital and Cass Business School UK Growth Buyout Dashboard shows that the UK has reinforced its position as the preeminent market for private equity investment in Europe, with activity in its lower mid-market having continued its strong recovery in 2011 to pre-recession levels of almost 100 deals.

Highlighting the segment’s robustness despite macro-economic challenges, the UK Growth Buyout Dashboard, revealed 44 per cent growth in the total number of transactions last year to 91, compared to 63 in 2010 and 34 deals in 2009.

The quarterly data, which analyses UK-headquartered private equity control deals in the £10 to £100 million enterprise value space, also shows that total deal value has more than trebled over the past three years, with aggregate values in excess of £3.4 billion last year compared to over £2.2 billion in 2010 and just above £1.0 billion in 2009.

Technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) was the stand-out sector – a trend which is likely to continue, driven by growth in innovative IT solutions such as cloud computing and mobile business applications. 26 TMT deals completed during 2011, contributing to 29 per cent of completed transactions, compared to 11 a year earlier and just four in 2009.

Click here to read the full UK Growth Buyout Dashboard.

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