Diversified Communications acquires Digital Construction Week

diversified communicationsDiversified Communications has acquired Digital Construction Week, adding to their building, construction and technology portfolio of events. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Digital Construction Week is the United Kingdom’s leading trade show dedicated to digital construction, engineering, design, manufacturing, and operation. The latest, and fourth edition, was held at ExCeL in London in October. It doubled its 2017 attendance, attracted 6,500 visitors, 200 exhibitors and 250 speakers, presenting across 6 stages with a dedicated conference stream. The next Digital Construction Week takes place at ExCeL London on October 17-18 2019.

This event complements Diversified’s industry leading event portfolio with market reach across four countries. Events include GEO Business in London, Commercial UAV Expo Europe in Amsterdam, DesignBUILD in Sydney, and in the United States: AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference and SPAR 3D in Anaheim, CA; International LiDAR Mapping Forum in Denver, CO; and Commercial UAV Expo Americas in Las Vegas, NV.

Diversified’s President & CEO, Theodore Wirth, said, “These synergies, in addition to our shared values and commitment to our customers through a long-term vision and industry expertise, make this a perfect fit. We are very pleased to welcome the event’s co-founders Luke Collings and Oliver Hughes and their talented show team to our growing UK division, under Managing Director Carsten Holm.”

USA, Portland, ME & UK, London

Centaur Media Plc to divest digital platform, events & financial services divisions

centaur-logoFollowing a strategic review, Centaur, the international provider of market intelligence and specialist consultancy, is accelerating the simplification of the Group’s structure to improve operational execution and to focus attention on the leading brands within its marketing division.

Centaur is looking at the potential sale of The Lawyer, which operates a digital platform to provide intelligence and analysis to the global legal market; of its events division, including the Business Travel Show, The Meetings Show, Sub Con and Employee Benefits, and of its financial services division, which includes Money Marketing, Mortgage Strategy, Platforum, Taxbriefs and Headline Money.

Andria Vidler, Centaur Chief Executive, said, “Centaur has made substantial progress this year and these appointments will help us to deliver on our strategy to create a more focused business with good opportunities to grow its revenues and margins. We will work with our advisers to explore divestment possibilities and ensure that shareholder value is maximised.”

UK, London

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THQ Nordic acquires game development studios Coffee Stain and Bugbear

THQ NordicTHQ Nordic has acquired both Coffee Stain Studios, developers of Deep Rock Galactic, A Story About My Uncle, and the Satisfactory, and Bugbear Entertainment, who created Flatout and Wreckfest. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lars Wingefors, CEO of THQ Nordic, said, “We are creating a complementary digital native pillar to THQ Nordic. Coffee Stain is a passionate and highly competent team creating and publishing great games. After some years without major releases, the pipeline of new game releases such as Satisfactory and Deep Rock Galactic look strong. I look forward to working together with Anton Westbergh and his team in the future.”

THQ Nordic now has a sizeable array of studios and IPs, with over 55 games in active development.

Austria, Vienna, Sweden, Skövde & Finland, Helsinki

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Ascential acquires Flywheel Digital for $60M

Ascential plcGlobal specialist information and events company Ascential plc is to acquire Flywheel Digital, a leading US-based provider of managed services to consumer product companies trading on Amazon, for an initial cash consideration of $60 million plus earn out payments payable over three years.

Founded in 2014, Flywheel offers customers Amazon-specific software, tools and expertise to drive sales and brand performance across Amazon platforms by directly actioning solutions for clients. Flywheel’s proprietary platforms and processes optimise brands’ online operations, including merchandising, supply logistics and media management. Flywheel primarily serves large-scale US consumer product companies, with more than 70 customers and more than 90 staff based in Baltimore and Seattle.

The initial consideration of US$60m (subject to normal working capital adjustments) is being paid out of Ascential’s existing cash reserves using capital released from the sale of the Exhibitions business. Earn out consideration is payable in cash based on the revenue of the business for the next three years to 2021 and is expected to total between approximately US$47m and US$196m. A portion of the earn out is subject to the founders remaining in employment with the company. The total potential consideration, including both initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at US$400m in the event that extremely stretching revenue levels are reached.

In the year ended December 2017, Flywheel grew its revenue by more than 150% and delivered unaudited profit before tax of $4.8m. It had gross assets of $23.9m at December 2017. The transaction is expected to be earnings accretive in Ascential’s current financial year.

Flywheel will report to Duncan Painter, CEO of Ascential. The business will be reported as part of Ascential’s Sales segment alongside the newly integrated Edge business (comprising One Click Retail, Clavis, Planet Retail RNG and Brand View) which offers a range of insight and advisory solutions to improve performance across Amazon and other eCommerce platforms.

Duncan Painter, CEO of Ascential, commented, ‘We have a clear focus on providing information and capabilities that enable our customers to succeed in the digital economy. The acquisition of Flywheel is in line with this strategy, further strengthening our offerings in eCommerce for brands navigating the digital market places, particularly Amazon.’

UK, London & USA, Seattle, WA

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IBM to acquire Red Hat for $34bn

IBMIBM and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source cloud software, have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion.

Red Hat is a leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybridRed Hat cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments.

Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market. IBM will become the world’s #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses. Most companies today are only 20 percent along their cloud journey, renting compute power to cut costs. The next 80 percent is about unlocking real business value and driving growth. This is the next chapter of the cloud. It requires shifting business applications to hybrid cloud, extracting more data and optimizing every part of the business, from supply chains to sales.”

Upon closing of the acquisition, Red Hat will join IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team as a distinct unit, preserving the independence and neutrality of Red Hat’s open source development heritage and commitment, current product portfolio and go-to-market strategy, and unique development culture. Red Hat will continue to be led by Jim Whitehurst and Red Hat’s current management team. Jim Whitehurst also will join IBM’s senior management team and report to Ginni Rometty. IBM intends to maintain Red Hat’s headquarters, facilities, brands and practices.

USA, Armonk, NY and Raleigh, NC

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A Fusion Deal: Integer Research sold to Argus Media

ArgusInteger Research an independent provider of specialist market intelligence and analysis, consultancy services and conferences has has been sold to Argus Media, the global energy and commodity price reporting agency. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Integer Research. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Integer provides the fertilizer, wire and cable, and emissions control markets with specialist economic and financial analysis, market forecasts, strategy, and benchmarking information, as well as global conferences.

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Paul Kelly

Speaking about the sale, Fusion’s Paul Kelly said, “I’ve known Integer Directors Tim Cheyne, and Oliver Hatfield for four years; I met their third partner, Philip Radbourne at the start of the process. They are a highly professional team with great industry knowledge and expertise. Integer is a great fit with Argus and they will do very well. I wish them every success”.

Integer Managing Director Tim Cheyne added, “This is a natural cultural and strategic fit for Integer and we are excited to build on Argus’ existing global expertise in commodity markets and leverage its technology and platform strengths to the benefit of our customers.”

Argus Media Chairman and Chief Executive Adrian Binks said, “Argus’ acquisition of Integer will expand the range and depth of services we offer to our customers. Integer has a unique product offering and this, combined with Argus’ global reach and scale, will offer users powerful market intelligence and insight.”

Argus first entered the global fertilizer markets with the acquisition of price reporting and events business FMB Consultants in 2011. A company sale project also managed by Fusion Corporate Partners. In 2014 Fusion sold Metal Pages to Argus.

UK, London

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Other Fusion Deals:

Media & Business Information

Exhibitions & Conferences

Business Support Services and Energy & Environmental Services

 

MORE FUSION DEALS

Blackstone acquires the NEC Group

BlackstonePrivate equity funds managed by Blackstone have acquired the National Exhibition Centre Group, a leading live events venue operator in the UK, from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.

Founded in 1976, the NEC has grown into the UK’s live events business of choice for organisers, exhibitors and visitors, playing host to over seven million guests and 750 events every year. The NEC includes Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, the International Convention Centre, the Genting Arena and Arena Birmingham among its assets as well as caterer Amadeus and national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory.

The National Exhibition Centre hosts many of the largest exhibitions in the UK, including Crufts, the internationally acclaimed dog show, Spring Fair, the UK’s largest exhibition, and Grand Designs Live. The NEC is also due to host nine sports as part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

LDC originally backed a management buyout of the Group in January 2015. Since then, it has supported a four-year transformation programme to enhance sites, facilities and customer experience and broaden the range of events across the Group’s portfolio, supported by significant capital investment.

Paul Thandi, Chief Executive of the NEC Group, said: “Blackstone’s track record in scaling companies, sector knowledge and unrivalled real estate capabilities, make them the ideal new partner for NEC Group to realise the next phase of our ambitious growth strategy. All of our teams and partners look forward to working closely with the world class team as we embark on becoming the definitive name in events and exhibitions, while continuing to focus on innovations and new customer experience offerings for all our customer groups.”

Lionel Assant, European Head of Private Equity at Blackstone, added: “Under the leadership of Paul Thandi, a best in class management team and the support of LDC, the NEC has transformed its main site into a leading leisure, entertainment and business destination, which continues to benefit from a diverse customer base. We have tremendous respect for what has been achieved; NEC Group is iconic and we are excited about our new partnership as we look to leverage our firm’s capabilities in support of the team.”

USA, New York, NY & UK, London

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