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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UBM acquires Expomed and live healthcare events in Latin America

UBMUBM has acquired annual healthcare exhibition ExpoMed from LIVEMED in Mexico and Live Healthcare in Brazil from founders Dr. Vitor Assentuno and Dr. Raphael Gordilho. The terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

ExpoMed connects vendors of medical equipment to buyers and executives from private and public hospitals, clinics and distributors. Held each June in Mexico City, the show is considered the must-attend healthcare event in Mexico. The most recent edition of ExpoMed took place 6-8 June 2018 at the World Trade Center Mexico City, where it drew in more than 8,000 buyers and 342 exhibition companies spanning a more than 44,000 square foot showfloor.

Based in Brazil, Live Healthcare is an event platform that connects major healthcare players to inspire industry change and empower leaders. Live brings with it the Saude Business Forum, which focuses on executive networking and one-on-one meetings for healthcare CEOs and innovative vendors, as well as the Healthcare Innovation Show, a technology and innovation exhibition attended by senior healthcare executives. Live also runs the healthcare portal saudebusiness.com, which drives database and community engagement for the events.

Scott Schulman, CEO of UBM Americas, said, “Healthcare is a strategic vertical for UBM Americas, particularly in Mexico and Brazil, where public and private healthcare spending and service markets are growing rapidly. With ExpoMed’s leading position in Mexico and Live Healthcare’s complementary fit with UBM Brazil’s existing Hospitalar event, we are confident that these two bolt-on acquisitions will greatly contribute to the long-term growth of our healthcare portfolio – and our position as a leader in the Latin America healthcare market.”

Jaime Salazar Figueroa, director general and managing director of UBM México, said, “ExpoMed is by far the largest healthcare event in Mexico and adds another market-leading brand to our portfolio. The acquisition gives us the opportunity to serve the second-largest medical device market in Latin America and to pursue synergies with our healthcare portfolio in Brazil.”

UK, London, Mexico, Mexico City & Brasil, Sao Paulo

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Quartz Sequoia acquires two Prysm events

Quartz Business MediaQuartz Sequoia Events, organiser of Elevate, has acquired the Elite Sports and the sports rehabilitation COPA events from Prysm Group, extending its existing trade event portfolio within the sport, fitness and health sector. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In May 2018 Elite Sports and COPA took place slightly earlier in the year, co-locating with Elevate in preparation for the acquisition. The shows reported an increase in visitors and a combined total of more than 8,000.

Max Quittenton, founder of Elevate, commented: “It’s a testament to the success of Elevate and the incredible support that we have seen by the industry, that we have been able to make this expansion and encompass over 300 exhibitors in our third year. The continued industry growth and enthusiasm to invest and innovate in health and fitness markets within the UK, has enabled us to create a strong community that seeks to promote physical activity for all. Elevate was created to bring together the fitness, healthcare and performance sectors, so this acquisition makes perfect sense.”

Elevate 2019 will continue to focus on the challenge of inactivity through inclusivity, innovation and scientific research. With more emphasis on elite sports, rehabilitation and healthcare; participants in the future can expect to find learnings from the performance sector more accessible and the research and valuable opinions of health experts strongly represented in high-level conference and seminar programmes.

UK, Redhill & Bristol

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ITE to acquire Ascential Events in £300M deal

ITE GroupITE Group plc has released its interim results and proposed the acquisition of seven event brands from Ascential Events Ltd for £300 million.

The Ascential Exhibitions Business, which organises market-leading exhibitions that bring business communities together to connect and trade, includes two global industry-leading exhibitions brands, Bett and CWIEME, and a number of market-leading UK exhibitions brands such as the Spring and Autumn Fairs and Pure. In the financial year ended 31 December 2017, these brands generated revenues of £77.5 million and EBITDA of £24.0 million.

The move comes as ITE Group releases its interim results, showing the group’s revenues grew at eight per cent on a like-for-like basis, driven by its Transformation and Growth (TAG) programme. For the six months to 31 March 2018 revenue for the group was £75.4m.

Mark Shashoua, CEO of ITE Group plc, said, “These events are well known to us, the acquisition is in line with our product-led acquisition strategy and gives us the benefit of a more balanced portfolio by geography and product. It also adds two more global brands in BETT and CWIEME and is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2019, our first full financial year of ownership. The combination of good progress on TAG and the proposed acquisition of Ascential Events Limited represent the significant steps for ITE in realising its vision of creating the world’s leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events that deliver an outstanding experience and ROI for our customers.”

UK, London

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