UBM Agrees to Buy Advanstar Communications for $972 Million

October 1, 2014

U.K.-based UBM has agreed to buy Advanstar Communications for $972 Million from hedge fund Anchorage Capital Group LLC and private equity companies Veronis Suhler Stevenson and Ares Management.

The deal will make it the largest trade show organizer in the United States.

“This is a great acquisition for UBM and its shareholders. In addition to being financially attractive, it strengthens UBM’s core events business, while balancing and complementing UBM’s strong events portfolio in emerging markets,” said UBM CEO Tim Cobbold.

He added, “UBM will become the largest events organizer in the US – the biggest events market in the world. Advanstar gives UBM a portfolio of high-quality, large-scale ‘must-attend’ events, which serve  growing markets, particularly the U.S. fashion industry, a new vertical for UBM. I look forward to working closely with Advanstar’s CEO Joe Loggia and his strong management team in the coming months."

According to UBM, Loggia will continue to manage the Advanstar business within UBM and will report directly to Cobbold for a transitional period.

“We are pleased to be joining UBM and to be combining our highly complementary businesses, talented people and customer-focused cultures,” Loggia said. “With greater scale, as the largest organizer in the US, and with access to international markets, the combined company will be strongly positioned for continued growth.”

Advanstar serves the fashion, licensing, life sciences and powersports industries with its portfolio of 54 trade shows, 100 conferences, 30 publications, and nearly 200 electronic products and Web sites, as well as educational and direct marketing products and services.

It runs the two largest fashion shows in the U.S. – Magic Market Week – held biannually in Las Vegas.

Last year’s Magic Market Week in February was ranked No. 5 on TSNN’s 2013 Top 250 Trade Show List and drew 70,000 attendees to more than 1 million net square feet in several venues across the city.

The August show last year ranked No. 8 and had more than 66,000 attendees to 952,741 net sq. ft. of space.

The company also has 600 employees, with its headquarters based in Santa Monica, Calif., and offices throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Advanstar generates approximately $95 million annually in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Just more than a year ago was another large deal in the trade show industry, with Nielsen Expositions selling to private equity firm ONEX for $950 million and renamed Emerald Expositions.

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