United Business Media Buys 70-percent Stake in Catersource Show for $5 Million

June 19, 2011

U.K.-based United Business Media bought a 70-percent stake in the Catersource Conference & Trade Show and sister show Event Solutions on behalf of UBM Live for $5 million.

Catersource services the catering industry, and Event Solutions services the event planning industry.

Catersource will become part of UBM Live, adding to UBM Live’s portfolio of events serving the Food & Leisure industries both in the United States and internationally.

The portfolio includes brands such as Cruise Shipping, Food Ingredients, Health Ingredients, Leisure Industry Week and Confex.

Founder Michael Roman and his partner Kelvin Lee, together with Catersource’s 13 employees, will remain with the business following completion of the acquisition.

In 2010, Catersource generated approximately $4 million of revenue.

"Catersource is the leading events business in the fast-growing US catering industry,” said Simon Foster, CEO of UBM Live. “We see strong opportunities to grow the brand by leveraging our US and worldwide events infrastructure, as well as driving synergies with other UBM events.”

He added, “We are delighted that Kelvin Lee, Mike Roman and their team will be joining UBM Live and look forward to working with them to develop the business going forward."

Minneapolis-based Catersource was founded in 1982 and hosts an annual conference in trade show in the February/March time frame in Las Vegas.

This year’s Catersource and Event Solutions shows attracted more than 10,000 delegates and more than 4,500 sponsor and exhibitor companies when they were held Feb. 27-March 2 in Las Vegas.

Even with an overall down economy, the catering revenues in the U.S. grew by 9 percent last year -exceeding $14 billion – with similar rates of growth forecast for this year, according to UBM officials.

The USA catering industry is highly fragmented, comprising approximately 80,000 catering operations nationwide. Catersource serves both the institutional and private segments of the catering industry.

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