Informa Buys Virgo Portfolio with Six Shows

July 29, 2014

London-based Informa bought Phoenix-based Virgo, which has six trade shows and conferences and will become part of the company’s Global Exhibitions Group.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

The acquisition gives Informa a foothold into the U.S. market in which Informa primarily only had conferences and learning.

The largest trade show on the Virgo portfolio is SupplySide West, serving the health and nutrition markets. The show was ranked No. 140 on the 2013 TSNN Top 250 Trade Show list and was held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Supplyside complements Vitafoods, Informa’s leading exhibition brand within this market sector in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Both companies expect there will be some synergies by bringing the Health & Nutrition assets into the same portfolio and creating a global brand proposition, in the same way Informa’s acquisition in China last year complemented its position in the Beauty Vertical, where it holds strong positions in Europe, according to show organizers.

“We continue to expand organically and by acquisition. Today’s announcement of the purchase of a U.S. exhibition business complements our existing position in the Health & Nutrition market sector through Vitafoods, creating a strong, global grand proposition in this attractive vertical,” Informa officials said.  It also provides us with an established base on which to build our presence in the important U.S. exhibitions sector.”

Virgo produces a total of six trade shows and conferences, as well as nine national trade Web sites, of which six have affiliate magazines, operates online training and accreditation programs and operates three branded online stores that offer paid content. 

“The opportunity to align Virgo’s events, web and media programming within the Informa business offers an incredible amount of scale to everything the company has accomplished,” said John Siefert, Virgo CEO.

He added, “At the same time, the ability to leverage Virgo’s position and infrastructure in the United States to bring Informa’s global exhibitions to the U.S. will be a game changer in the market.”

Informa also released their earnings for the first six months of this year in which 43 percent of total revenue in the first half and was up 6.8 percent from a year earlier.

“The strong performance of our Global Exhibitions business in the first half further confirms the growth potential of this market,” Informa officials said.

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The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s Public Safety Team at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center (Hynes) have taken their experiences to develop a comprehensive crisis management and emergency preparedness training program.