United Business Media Buys Ecobuild for $84 Million; Company's Mid-year Revenues Up 9 Percent

July 28, 2011

U.K.-based United Business Media bought International Business Events, the owner of the Ecobuild exhibition business, for an initial cash payment of $51 million followed by another $33 million payable during the next 12 months.

UBM acquired the business on behalf of its UBM Built Environment division, according to company officials. Ecobuild’s CEO David Wood will remain with the business until mid-2012.

Ecobuild, an exhibition for sustainable building products, was launched in 2004 and is held annually at ExCeL London.

 “Ecobuild is a great show that complements our other businesses in the UK built environment sector such as Building and Property Week,” said UBM CEO David Levin.

The event has grown from 6,100 attendees in 2006 to more than 55,000 in 2001, with a showfloor that spans 28,000 square meters (301,389 square feet).

Boasting a 54-percent compound annual growth rate since 2007, in 2011, the show generated revenues of approximately $15.4 million and even more growth is predicted by strategy consultants AMR International who forecasted that the U.K. sustainable construction market will grow 30-percent CAGR from 2011 to 2015.

Besides UBM Built Environment’s existing U.K. media portfolio, which includes print and online products Building and Property Week, Ecobuild fits in with events such as Interiors, Sleep, BSEC and RESI.

Ecobuild also adds to UBM’s international construction portfolio: Expobuild in China, the Concrete Show in Brazil and Building Future Education in the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, UBM plans to expand the Ecobuild brand, with the first show planned in April next year in Shanghai alongside Expobuild.

“We expect to double the size of Ecobuild over the next four years and we see clear opportunities to develop Ecobuild events in new geographies, taking advantage of our worldwide events infrastructure and our existing events portfolio, particularly in emerging markets such as China, Brazil, India and UAE,” Levin said. 

Eliane van Doorn has been appointed to drive the internationalization of UBM’s built environment product portfolio.

In her previous role at UBM Live, Eliane oversaw the development of UBM’s pharmaceutical industry tradeshow portfolio from seven events to 17 events, taking place across China, Europe, Japan, India and South America.

In other UBM news, the company’s mid-year Interim Results ending June 30 recently were released, with revenues increasing to $778 million from $712 million, a 9.1-percent increase, with 6.4 percent underlying growth.

“We have had a good first half with the business trading in line with our guidance,” Levin said. “We’re pleased with the 6.4 percent underlying revenue growth, and particularly the 16 percent headline growth in Emerging Marketswhere we now generate almost 20 percent of our total operating profit.”  

He added, “These positive revenue trends have driven healthy 10.5-percent growth in adjusted operating profit, an increase in our group margin to 19.4 percent and were accompanied by strong cash generation.”

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