Tarsus Group Acquires 70-percent Stake in Turkish Exhibition Company Life Media

March 19, 2012

In step with its plan to derive 50 percent of its revenues from emerging markets by 2013 (Project 50/13), U.K.-based Tarsus Group bought a 70-percent stake in Turkish Exhibition Company Life Media (Lifemedia Fuarcilik).


“Life Media’s exhibitions are the market leaders, not only in the domestic Turkish market, but in the wider region,” said Douglas Emslie, Tarsus Group’s managing director.


He added, “Given Turkey's unique geographic position on the crossroads between East and West, we believe there is a significant opportunity to develop the existing Life Media portfolio into world leading events.”


Tarsus Group will pay approximately £15 million ($24 million) for the 70-percent stake, with £10.6 million ($16.8 million) being paid immediately, followed by estimated deferred payments of approximately £5 million ($8 million) due in 2013.


Life Media has an established position in Turkey’s housewares and gifts business-to-business sector and runs two annual shows in Istanbul - Zuchex (September) and Ideal Home Fair (April), as well as publishes related trade journals - one English and two Turkish language.


In 2011, Zuchex drew 564 exhibitors and 28,000 visitors to a 41,600 net square meter (448,000 net square foot) showfloor at Istanbul’s Tuyap Fair & Congress Centre, and the Ideal Home Fair 2011, which takes place at the same venue, delivered approximately 21,000 visitors and 236 exhibitors to a 18,400 net sq. m. (198,000 sq. ft.) showfloor.


Founder Irfan Tiras will continue to manage the business after its acquisition.


This is Tarsus Group’s second acquisition in the Turkish exhibition market. In June 2011, Tarsus completed the acquisition of 75 percent of IFO (Istanbul Fair Organization), and in December 2011, the first Sign Istanbul exhibition under Tarsus’ ownership took place.


The Turkish exhibition industry recently has seen rapid growth, with five major acquisitions in the past nine months leading to consolidation of the market, Emslie said.


"We have identified the transition that has been taking place, and in a short period of time, with the acquisition of IFO and Life, Tarsus has become one of the leading organisers in this high-growth market," he added.


Emslie said, "We believe that the Life acquisition is a key milestone in achieving our 50/13 strategy of generation 50 percent of our revenues from emerging markets by 2013."


This latest acquisition also edged Tarsus Group closer to its Project 50/13 goal. By the end of 2011, 38 percent of Group revenue was derived from the emerging markets. Including the Life Media acquisition, approximately 43 percent of the company’s revenues now will be from that portion of the portfolio.


And, with an eye on the future, the company is looking to expand even more.


“In executing our 50/13 strategy, we have a number of opportunities under review, including certain exhibition businesses in China,” Emslie said.


He added, “Our flexible balance sheet means that we are able to move swiftly in securing assets should the opportunity arise."



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