UBM acquires majority economic interest of Shanghai International Franchise Exhibition

UBM SinExpoUBM Sinoexpo, a subsidiary of UBM plc, has acquired a 70% economic interest in the Shanghai International Franchise Exhibition, organised by Shanghai Exhibition-Conference Ltd.

Established in 2005, the biannual SFE is one of the largest franchising events in China, hosting 221 exhibitors with over 450 brands and 50,261 visitors in the spring 2018 edition. SFE’s exhibitors are mainly in the food, beverage and retail sectors which is reflective of the trends in the Chinese franchise market today. Every year investors, potential franchisees, distributors, agents, dealers, and social organisations attend the two events in search of new, foreign, and commercially attractive franchise brands for the domestic market.

According to the China Chain Store & Franchise Association, China’s top franchises generates total sales of RMB 428 billion from 124,068 stores across the country. Currently, China has over 4,500 franchises and chain store companies creating more than 5 million jobs nationwide. Foreign franchise brands are becoming increasingly interested in 2nd and 3rd tier Chinese cities given favourable labour costs, reasonably priced real estate facilities, and untapped consumer spending.

Jime Essink, President and CEO of UBM Asia, said, “Our combination with SFE comes at an opportune time given our complimentary resources and shows in China. The Spring edition of SFE has already successfully co-located with our Hotel Plus event at SNIEC for two editions and we plan to co-locate SFE’s autumn edition with Food & Hotel China this November. The synergies and crossovers between professionals in the food, beverage, and retail sectors of these collocated events creates a complete and compelling industry value chain opportunity for visitors and exhibitors.”

The next edition of SFE will take place on 13-15 November 2018 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

Shanghai

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Hg makes strategic investment in Financial Express

Hg Capital plcHg, the manager of HgCapital Trust plc, is to make a significant investment in Financial Express, a leading data, analytics and software vendor focussed on the UK and Australian retail investment funds markets. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. HgCapital Trust plc will invest approximately £7.5 million in FE, with other institutional clients of Hg investing alongside the Company through the Mercury 2 Fund.

Based on the 30 April 2018 NAV, the company’s liquid resources available for future deployment, including all announced transactions, are estimated to be £145 million (20% of the 30 April 2018 pro forma NAV of £712.8 million). In addition, the company has access to an £80 million standby facility, which is currently undrawn. The investment will reduce the company’s outstanding commitments to invest in Hg transactions over the next four to five years to approximately £587 million.

Founded by Michael Holland and Craig Wilson, FE is a leading provider of investment data, research and software to the financial services industry in the UK and operates a proprietary database of complete retail funds data with global coverage and history, built up over 20 years. Trusted by investors, advisers, asset managers and platforms who use FE data, software and investment advice every day, FE is a leading player in supporting the UK fund industry.

The investment will be made from the Mercury 2 Fund. FE has a number of business characteristics that Hg looks for, including a strong position in the wealth / asset management software and data sector, a well-recognised brand, mission-critical products, and a strong management team led by Neil Bradford.

The investment comes on the back of significant expansion of FE’s global operations and product offering over the past few years, and another year of record growth for the company in 2017.

Sebastien Briens, Partner at Hg, said: ‘We have been following FE for a number of years, and have been impressed by the strength and depth of its data, products, team and vision. We are very pleased to partner with Michael, Craig and Neil in the next stage of growth for the business.’

Neil Bradford, CEO at FE, said: ‘Hg’s track record and experience in our sector means they are the perfect partner to continue FE’s growth strategy and international expansion ambitions. We look forward to working with the Hg team.’

Michael Holland, co founder of FE, said: ‘Data is at the foundation of everything we do and Hg has a deep understanding of the fund data space. I am confident that this partnership will hugely benefit our clients.’

UK, London

GoCompare Agrees To Acquire MyVoucherCodes

GoCompareGoCompare.com Group plc has reached an agreement to acquire The Global Voucher Group Limited, which trades as MyVoucherCodes, and its subsidiaries from Monitise Limited for £36.5m in cash, on a cash-free, debt-free basis. The acquisition will be financed through a combination of existing cash resources and an extension to GoCompare’s existing credit facilities.

MyVoucherCodes.co.uk is one of the UK’s largest online voucher code sites with eight million e-mail subscribers and a website which receives around 45 million annual visits. As such, MyVoucherCodes benefits from industry-leading commercial relationships, working with more than 3,000 retail brands.

Matthew Crummack, CEO of GoCompare, said, “We are delighted with this acquisition which will complement the services offered by GoCompare. We are making strong progress towards our ambition to become the ‘go-to’ place for savvy savers to find great deals, and for service providers to reach and acquire customers.”

UK, Newport & London

PenskeMedia acquires FashInvest

PensPenske Media CorporationkeMedia Corporation and its subsidiary Fairchild Media today announced the acquisition of FashInvest, the innovator in connecting the fashion-tech, fashion, retail, and branded consumer goods sectors with the finance and investment sectors. This acquisition follows Penske Media and its subsidiary Fairchild Media’s acquisition last month of Sourcing Journal, a media brand for global executives focused on the sourcing and manufacturing industries. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

FashInvest, known for being “where fashion meets finance,” began as a series of educational industry events in 2009 and has rapidly evolved to now be a leading global media resource. FashInvest’s daily online news posts, reports, and exclusive interviews on the emerging fashion tech and fashion arenas have established it as a news authority for a growing number of fashion-tech and fashion entrepreneurs seeking the latest news on who has received funding, who is providing the funding, and what strategies are attracting financing.

“FashInvest has tapped into the vital intersection of finance and fashion—a business that has been built over the last decade on discovering and developing emerging fashion and retail brands and their access to capital markets.  Fairchild Media has consistently been the leader in coverage of well-established global fashion brands, and with the acquisition of FashInvest the opportunity to deepen our coverage of emerging companies, start-ups, and the financial institutions (VC’s, Private Equity, etc.) that are shaping the future fashion industry is dramatically enhanced,” said PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske.

USA, New York, NY, Wilmington, DE

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Palamon Capital Partners acquires a majority interest in on-line beauty retailer feelunique.com

UK based Private Equity firm, Palamon Capital Partners, has acquired a majority interest in on-line beauty retailer feelunique.com.

feelunique.com has revenues of more than £30 million of annual revenue and the deal values feelunique.com at £26 million.

feelunique is an on-line retailer of premium products in haircare, skincare, cosmetics and fragrances, selling full-permissioned stock from almost all of the major brands including Dior, Lancôme, Clarins, Guerlain, Yves Saint Laurent, Benefit and Kerastase. The Company has built a strong reputation for its customer service and website editorial content, which is directed by Newby Hands, a beauty journalist and Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Director-at-Large. It was founded in 2005 and employs more than 125 staff at its headquarters and logistics centre in the Channel Islands.

Palamon will purchase a majority shareholding from the founders and earlier-stage investors and will provide further capital to support the Company’s growth plan. Sirius Equity will invest alongside Palamon in the transaction. Following Palamon’s investment, Sirius co-founders Robert Bensoussan will join the Board of the Company as Chairman and Jim Sharp will join the Board as a Non-Executive Director. Mr Bensoussan also is Chairman of L K Bennett, a board member of Interparfums and former investor in and CEO of Jimmy Choo.

Dan Mytnik, Partner at Palamon commented: “We are delighted to be investing in feelunique, a high growth business that is ideally placed to benefit from the fast expanding on-line retail beauty sector with its established platform, a strong business model and entrepreneurial management team. We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with founders, Aaron Chatterley and Richard Schiessl, and to welcome Robert Bensoussan and Jim Sharp to the Board. The expertise of Robert and Jim in the luxury branded sector will be invaluable in taking the business to the next level.”

UK, London & Channel Isles, Jersey

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