Informa Exhibitions Buys $133 Million U.S. Boat Show Portfolio

March 2, 2017

U.K.-based Informa's Global Exhibitionsdivision bought Yachting Promotions, the operator of some of the largest yachting and boat shows in the U.S., for $133 million.

“With this acquisition, Informa Exhibitions becomes the world’s leading yacht show organizer,” said Charlie McCurdy, Informa Exhibitions’ CEO.

He added, “Combining the world’s premiere show, based in Europe, with these five shows in North America creates a scale player in this attractive and growing vertical, further strengthening our relationship with leading yacht brokers and builders, providing good opportunities for cross promotion and extending customer relationships across platforms and geographies.”

The acquisition brings three of the world's largest in-water boat shows – the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Yachts Miami Beach and the Palm Beach International Boat Show – into the Informa Exhibitions portfolio, along with the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show and Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota.

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which draws 100,000 attendees, 1,300 exhibitors and more than 1,200 boats each November, complements Informa Exhibition’s Monaco Yacht Show, an event dedicated to the superyachting industry, according to Informa officials.

 “With the addition of these Florida shows, and following the addition of Penton’s exhibitions portfolio in 2016, Informa Exhibitions is now Informa PLC’s largest division by revenue and profit,” McCurdy said.

He added, “Acquisitions in key and growing verticals will continue to be part of our growth strategy going forward as we look for events that complement what we are doing within vertical markets we have identified as attractive.”

In November last year, Informa bought Penton’s portfolio of 30 shows, boosting its North American portfolio significantly.

Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, Chairman of Active Interest Media, said, “We can think of no better company than Informa Exhibitions, with its global resources, to focus on the continued growth and success of these excellent boat shows while continuing to exceed the expectations of their exhibitors and attendees.”

Skip Zimbalist will advise Informa Exhibitions in the transition, and the rest of the YPI team will continue with the company as it moves forward.

McCurdy said that Informa Exhibitions will continue YPI’s active role in the North American boating and maritime industry, including IFBSO, the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers; NACS, the National Association of Consumer Shows; Marine Industries Association of South Florida (Sponsor); Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County (Sponsor); International Yacht Brokers Association (formerly Florida Yacht Brokers Association); NMMA, the National Marine Manufacturers Association; and Sail America.

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