U.K.-based Clarion Events Acquires PennWell

April 4, 2018

Clarion Events has acquired PennWell, a 108-year-old privately-held events and business-to-business media and marketing services company based in Tulsa, Okla.

Clarion is owned by funds managed by Blackstone, a private equity firm with more than $400 billion in assets under management.

"This deal delivers significant benefits for both companies," said Clarion's Executive Chairman Simon Kimble.  

He added, "PennWell's roster of market-leading events strongly enhances Clarion's portfolio. Our global network and depth of resources will further strengthen PennWell's offerings, enhancing opportunities for growth and expansion across North America and globally."

The acquisition is the latest in a series of global acquisitions by Clarion, which includes its 2015 purchase of Urban Expositions, now rebranded as Clarion UX and Hong Kong-based Global Sources.

"Clarion is committed to building a strong and competitive presence in North America,” said Clarion UX CEO Greg Topalian.

He added, “The acquisition of PennWell reflects not only the quality of their portfolio, but also our companies' shared legacy of creating innovative events that demonstrate our continued leadership in this industry.”

With 550 employees, PennWell organizes and manages more than 40 exhibitions and conferences around the world.

The company also has 130 media properties and provides quality content and integrated marketing solutions for industries that include energy, fire and emergency services, dental and industrial technology.

PennWell Vice Chairman Frank T. Lauinger said, "We have been a family-owned business since my great grandfather founded the company 108 years ago, originally to serve the oil and gas industry.  Finding the right partner going forward was paramount for our family and for our employees and we are confident Clarion shares our values and will continue the legacy of PennWell across all markets PennWell now serves."

Clarion's portfolio of leading exhibition, conference and media brands, earned the company the "Most Respected Company for 2017" accolade from the UK's Association of Event Organisers.  

“Clarion has market-leading brands that are complementary to PennWell's, and an enviable presence across EuropeAsiaAfrica and the Middle East,” said PennWell President and CEO Mark Wilmoth.

He added, “Merging with Clarion will enhance our offerings to the worldwide customers of PennWell's diversified portfolio of events, including the POWER-GEN series, DistribuTECH for electricity distribution, and FDIC for the fire market, as well as media brands such as the Oil & Gas Journal."

Six of PennWell’s shows recently landed on the 2017 TSNN Top Trade Shows list: Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) (No. 34), POWER-GEN International (No. 46), DistribuTECH (No. 101), Subsea Tieback (No. 178), HydroVISION International (No. 218) and Strategies in Light (No. 233). 

PennWell was represented in this transaction by JEGI (www.jegi.com), an independent investment bank for the global media, information, marketing, software and tech-enabled services sectors.

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