Nurnberg Messe acquires largest tradeshow organiser in Greece

Nuernberg Messe logoA new strategic partnership between the Nurnberg Messe Group and Forum SA, the largest exhibition company in Greece, has been launched following the acquisition of FORUM by the German trade fair company.

Integration into the Nurnberg Messe Group makes Forum SA now the largest subsidiary of the German exhibition giant.

The Greek trade show industry, according to a survey conducted by ICAP, is predicted to grow in the 2019-2020 period, with an average annual growth of 8.5%.

The partners are hoping Greece can become an exhibition hub for the Balkans and Southeast Europe.

Dr Roland Fleck and Peter Ottmann, the two Nürnberg Messe CEOs, said, “We’ve achieved the goals we set in our corporate strategy two whole years ahead of schedule. And that major step forward will give us the momentum we need to approach the next chapter of the NürnbergMesse success story.”

“With its high-profile international tradefairs, Nürnberg Messe has worked its way up into the ranks of the 15 largest tradefair organisers in the world. Our next objective is to make it into the top ten… Greece will play a pivotal role in this in the future.”

Management of the Greece operation will remain with the Greek company’s executives.

Forum SA was established in 1988 and claims to be the largest international tradeshow organiser in Greece, with 23% of the domestic market. Its portfolio includes 8 of the most important international tradeshows taking place in Greece, such as HORECA, FOOD EXPO, ΟΕΝΟΤΕLIA, ΧΕΝΙΑ, ARTOZA, FOODTECH, ATHENS COFFEE FESTIVAL and BIO FESTIVAL.

These shows combined attract 4,000 Greek and international exhibitors and around 350,000 visitors. Forum SA’s four trade magazines are also part of the acquisition.

FORUM SA expects a turnover for the year 2019 of over EUR 17 million.

Germany, Nuernberg & Greece, Agios Dimitrios

Reed Exhibitions acquires India BIG7 trade event

Reed ExhibitionsReed Exhibitions, a division of RELX, has acquired India BIG7, the annual, Mumbai-based event, India’s largest for gifts, stationery, writing instruments, office supplies, gadgets, houseware, kitchenware and home décor. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 1993, BIG7 joins a growing portfolio of Reed Exhibitions gift shows in Germany, Japan, Australia and China. The next edition of India BIG7, held in the Bombay Exhibition Centre, will take place 21 – 24 August 2019.

Gregory Zaraisky, CEO of Reed Exhibitions, India, said, “Having known Jivesh Sachdev and his flagship event India BIG7 for more than two years, we have been very impressed by the team’s continuous drive to innovate, keep the event on-trend while focusing on the customers’ needs today and in the future. By joining forces, we can increase customer value and help accelerate the transformation of the industries which urgently need investment, innovation and new technologies.”

UK, London & India, Mumbai

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US TMA acquires TABEXPO Exhibition & Congress

TMATobacco and nicotine industry data & information provider TMA has agreed to acquire assets of international multi-platform trade publisher and conference producer SpecComm International Inc.. Assets acquired by TMA include the nicotine and tobacco conference, GTNF; the magazines Tobacco Reporter, Vapor Voice and Tobacco Farm Quarterly; and the international trade exposition and congress, TABEXPO. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Launched in 1994, TABEXPO grew to strategic importance under the management of British entrepreneur David Pike and the SpecComm events team led by publisher and global event director Elise Rasmussen. With David Pike’s retirement last year, the TABEXPO license was acquired by British businessman Steve Fowler. Mr. Fowler built his pet care business into a 50-store chain before selling it in 2016, and also served as a leading figure in his industry’s trade association. He is keen to bring his trading expertise to this new venture and work with TMA.

Elise Rasmussen, the new TMA Vice President of Sales and Marketing said she was confident that TABEXPO 2019 would be the best TABEXPO event to date, citing the continuity of experience and know-how that the original sales team brings, now backed by TMA and the expertise of Steve Fowler and TEM. She said, “My sales team will provide its in-depth knowledge of our customers, their business needs and objectives, which will continue to benefit from the history and experience of our TMA colleagues”.

USA, Princeton, NJ & Raleigh, NC

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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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

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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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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