Blackstone Buys International Market Centers, Home of Las Vegas, High Point Markets

July 6, 2017

Blackstone, through funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire International Market Centers (“IMC”), an owner and operator of showroom space for the furnishings, home decor and gift industries, from Bain Capital Private Equity, LP and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. 

Fireside Investments also is expected to partner with Blackstone in the acquisition. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

At the IMC venues, there are several trade shows, including the High Point and Las Vegas Markets that run biennially.

“IMC has an excellent management team that has built a high-quality business and leader in the furniture, showroom and gift industry exhibition space,” said Andrea Serra, a managing director in Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities group.

She added, “By leveraging the scale of Blackstone’s platform and expertise in real estate investing, we look forward to partnering with IMC to help drive the company’s continued growth in the years ahead,” said Tyler Henritze, a Senior Managing Director in Blackstone’s Real Estate group. 

International Market Centers has 12.2 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas.

IMC’s Las Vegas Market is on tap July 30-Aug. 3 and encompasses 40 floors of furniture, bedding/mattress, lighting, casual/outdoor, decorative accessories, wall art, floor coverings, housewares, home textiles, tabletop, lifestyle products, general gift, housewares/gourmet and more.

“This marks an exciting time for International Market Centers,” said Robert Maricich, CEO of IMC.

He added, “While Bain Capital and Oaktree have been great partners for the past six years, we look forward to this new relationship and our next phase of growth. Blackstone is a firm with a strong track record of enabling transformational change and shares our long-term vision for the business.”

The company’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home decor and gift industries, according to IMC officials.
“In forming IMC, we combined a number of assets and made significant investments in the High Point and Las Vegas markets. Toda,y the business is a clear leader in the industry, with capabilities and reach that provide best-in-class productivity for the buyers and sellers who attend those markets,” said Ryan Cotton, a managing director at Bain Capital. 

He added, “We are proud to have built IMC into a leading, high-performing business in partnership with Bob Maricich and his talented executive team.  We believe the business we're leaving behind will remain robust and compelling for years to come,” said Phil Loughlin, a Managing Director at Bain Capital. 
Kaj Vazales, managing director at Oaktree, said, “Having partnered with Bob Maricich and Bain Capital at the creation of IMC, we are enormously proud of the enduring and essential platform this management team has built.  IMC is well-positioned for the next phase of growth as the nexus of commerce for the furnishing, home décor and gift industries.”

The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Allen & Company LLC and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as advisors to International Market Centers, Bain Capital and Oaktree.  Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as advisors to Blackstone and Fireside.

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Partner Voices

Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce the approval of a 2.5 million square-foot convention center with 800,000 square feet of exhibit space and 300,000 square feet of breakout area, including 160,000 square feet of ballroom. “This news is a game changer for Dallas and will put our city on the map as the preeminent large-city convention and meeting destination in the nation,” said Craig Davis, Visit Dallas President & CEO.