Nielsen Expositions Reported to be on the Sales Block

March 7, 2013

Several business publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, are reporting that Nielsen Holdings NV has hired an investment bank to seek out possible buyers for its trade show division, Nielsen Expositions.

Naming what they referred to as “sources familiar with the matter”, the WSJ added that Nielsen Expositions could have a $1 billion pricetag.

Nielsen representatives declined to comment.

Nielsen Expositions organizes shows across several sectors, including Outdoor Retailer, for the outdoor sports market; Interbike, for the bicycling industry; Globalshop, for store design, visual merchandising, and shopper marketing; and Modern Day Marine Expo, a Department of Defense industry event, to name a few.

Nielsen had 12 shows on the 2011 TSNN Top 250 Trade Show list, which ranks the largest shows by net square footage in the United States.

In Nielsen Business Media’s full-year and fourth-quarter earnings report released Feb. 11, overall company revenues were up slightly 1 percent and Q4 revenues rose 3 percent, compared with the same periods in 2011.

Net income for the year increased to $273 million from $86 million in 2011.

The fourth quarter of 2012 ended with Nielsen Expositions dropping in revenue 19 percent to $17 million from $21 million in 2011, but seeing a small 2-percent uptick for the entire year’s revenues.  

Nielsen Expositions makes up 3 percent of Nielsen Business Media's overall portfolio.

After a long period with few trade show deals of note, there have been a flurry of buys in the past few months, with Advanstar Communications buying ENK International,  Reed Exhibitions purchasing the Agenda Show, Penton Media bought the Farm Progress Show, George Little Management acquits the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition and Nielsen recently bought the Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show.

If Nielsen Expositions sells, it would dwarf these deals in overall value.

Debtwire broke the news earlier in the day of the possible Nielsen Expositions sale and it is reported that Credit Suisse AG will be handling any prospective deal.

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