UBM agrees to acquire Advanstar for $972M

UPDATE November 6, 2014: A copy of the prospectus dated 6 November 2014 relating to the Rights Issue associated with UBM’s proposed Acquisition of VSS-AHC Consolidated Holdings Corp. (Advanstar Communications) is available here. It can also be read at www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/NSM.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE October 3, 2014: UBM has agreed to buy Advanstar Communications for $972 million (£599 million) in cash.

Advanstar’s CEO, Joe Loggia, will continue to manage the Advanstar business within UBM and will report directly to UBM CEO Tim Cobbold for a transitional period.

UBM will launch a new financing package to pay for the deal comprising of a $914 million (£563 million) Rights Issue and a new US$100 million UBM bridge facility.

advanstar“This is a great acquisition for UBM and its shareholders.” Commented Tim Cobbold, Chief Executive Officer of UBM, “In addition to being financially attractive, it strengthens UBM’s core events business while balancing and complementing UBM’s strong events portfolio in emerging markets. UBM will become the largest events organiser in the US – the biggest events market in the world. Advanstar gives UBM a portfolio of high quality, large scale `must-attend’ events which serve growing markets, particularly the US fashion industry, a new vertical for UBM.”

The Wall Street Journalist is reporting that some analysts have speculated UBM will sell its news release business PR Newswire, which would turn UBM into a company almost fully focused on events.

Previous Fusion DigiNet reporting

UK, London & USA, Santa Monica, CA

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UBM in advanced talks to acquire Advanstar

UBMUBM is in advanced talks to acquire Advanstar. Reuters is reporting that UBM are paying around $900M for the privately held U.S. trade show organiser.

Advanstar generates roughly $95 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. It has has a portfolio of 54 trade shows, 100 conferences, 30 publications, and almost 200 electronic products and Web sites, as well as educational and direct marketing products and services. Advanstar has approximately 600 employees and currently operates from multiple offices in North America and Europe.

A UBM statement confirming the talks said, “UBM plc notes recent market speculation concerning a potential acquisition of advanstarAdvanstar by UBM. UBM confirms that it is involved in discussions which may, or may not, lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made in due course, if appropriate.”

This would be the first large acquisition for UBM under its new CEO Tim Cobbold, who started at the company earlier this year after leaving British banknote printer De La Rue.

UK, London & USA, Santa Monica, CA

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UBM acquires cruise and maritime media business Seatrade Communications

UBM plc Michael Duck Chris HaymanUBM has acquired Seatrade Communications Ltd.  Seatrade is a brand serving the international cruise and maritime community.  Its publications, events, management training, award schemes and websites cover all aspects of cruise and maritime activity. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Seatrade’s cruise sector events include Seatrade Latin America Cruise Convention and Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, supported by Seatrade Cruise Review and the online portal Seatrade Insider. General Maritime events include Sea Asia in Singapore and Seatrade Middle East Maritime in Dubai, supported by the online Seatrade Global portal and Seatrade Magazine. In the Offshore Marine space it organises Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats Middle East in Abu Dhabi.

UBM’s events in the sector include Cruise Shipping Miami, Marintec China and Sea Japan.

Seatrade has been led by its Executive Chairman and owner Chris Hayman since 2003. Hayman will remain with the business as Chairman, ensuring continuity of relationships, content and strategic guidance. The business will remain headquartered in Colchester, UK, with its offices in DubaiSingapore and China continuing to drive growth in these regions.

Michael Duck, UBM’s Global Maritime Director and Executive Vice President of UBM Asia said:

“We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Seatrade for many years, and are delighted to now bring UBM and Seatrade together as one business to better serve our community of customers, delegates and readers across the maritime world. The unified portfolio and management structure will create a simplified, coherent and stronger global offering for our clients. From both a company and personal perspective, I am delighted that Chris Hayman – who is widely known and respected throughout the maritime industry – will be staying with the business. We look forward to working with him and the world class teams at both UBM and Seatrade over the coming years.”

UK, London & Colchester, Essex

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UBM results for the six months ended 30 June 2014


  • Reported revenue of £361.0m (H1 2013: £391.8m), down 7.9%; broadly flat at constant currency (0.3%), with underlying growth of 2.0%
  • Adjusted operating profit up 8.7% to £87.4m (H1 2013: £80.4m), margins up by 3.7%pts, driven largely by non-recurring gains of £11.0m
  • Events underlying revenue growth of 4.8%(2), led by Emerging Markets with operating margins up 0.4%pts to 28.8% (H1 2013: 28.4%)
  • Other Marketing Services adjusted operating profit up to £4.4m (H1 2013: £3.6m) on reduced revenue of £48.5m (H1 2013: £66.4m)
  • PR Newswire revenue up 2.6% (underlying) at £98.3m (H1 2013: £105.0m) at an operating margin of 22.8% (H1 2013: 22.4%)
  • Adjusted diluted EPS up 12.1% to 24.0p (H1 2013: 21.4p)
  • Interim dividend of 6.8p (H1 2013: 6.7p) up 1.5%, in line with policy
  • Net Debt up at £452.1m (2013: £443.4m); Net Debt/EBITDA steady at 2.2x (2013: 2.2x)

Tim Cobbold, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“UBM has had a solid first half and remains on track to meet expectations for the full year. Although the reported performance was adversely impacted by currency headwinds, the Group performed well with good underlying revenue growth in both the Events and PR Newswire businesses and with higher operating margins in each of the three businesses.”

During my first three months as UBM’s CEO I completed the first stage of my review of the business. We will host a Capital Markets Day late in the year to present the plan for UBM’s future development.”

Read the full announcement here.

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UBM reports a 10 percent rise in full-year profit

UBM Plc has announced results for the year ending 31st December 2013

For full details and financial notes, click here.

  • Revenues from continuing operations up 3.2% to £793.9m; organic revenue growth of 3.7%
  • Adjusted operating profit from continuing operations up 6.3% to £186.3m; margin of 23.5%
  • Continuing fully diluted adjusted EPS up 12.8% to 53.6p
  • Total China revenues up 21% to £174.8m from £144.5m with strong annual and biennial event performance
  • Events organic revenue growth of 6.3%; operating profit, up to £148.9m, margin of 32.2%
  • PR Newswire 1.9% underlying growth and 22.6% margin
  • £22.7m exceptional charges reflect Marketing Services restructuring and the implementation of new UBM-wide finance and reporting system
  • Final dividend of 20.5p proposed; total 2013 dividend of 27.2p (2012:26.7p), up 1.9%
  • Leverage improved to 2.2x Net Debt/ EBITDA (2012: 2.5x)

UBM Results Dec 13 v2Click on the table for an enlarged view

David Levin, UBM’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“2013 was a year of strategic progress and operational achievement for UBM against a difficult economic backdrop; the company can look forward to 2014 with confidence.

2013’s good revenue and profit growth was bolstered by a strong performance from our biennial events in the second half of the year. PR Newswire had a solid year in its core business and maintained its strong profitability. We disposed of our Data Services business and substantially restructured our Marketing Services activities to focus on the professional communities our events serve. We end the year with significantly higher quality earnings and with the business better positioned for structural growth.

Our strategy to develop UBM as an events-led marketing services and communications business is proving successful. The growing strength of our Events business — focused particularly on large events, and our strong presence in China and other growth markets — continues to affirm our strategic choices and to demonstrate live media is an increasingly significant component of business to business marketing programmes. PR Newswire has retained its leading, premium position in the online news and content distribution market, and is well placed to prosper in the emerging world of digital content marketing.”

UK, London

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