Private equity firm Blackstone, the owner of organiser Clarion Events, has announced that the company has completed a merger with Global Sources, an exhibitions and online B2B marketplace operator based in Hong Kong and also owned by Blackstone.
Funds managed by Blackstone will control the combined group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Combining both companies will create one of the largest privately-owned exhibitions businesses globally, with substantial scale across Asia, Europe and North America, organising 200 events per year and generating more than £300m of revenues.
Russell Wilcox, CEO of Clarion Events, commented: “This merger marks an important milestone for both companies as we embark on an exciting new chapter. With the support of Blackstone, the new Group is well positioned to take advantage of our combined scale and global platform.
“We look forward to working with the Global Sources management, and believe that the remarkable expertise and capability of the combined company offers a very strong opportunity for future growth.”
The combined group will be led by the existing Clarion management team under Wilcox and chairman Simon Kimble. The new group will continue to operate under the name Clarion Events, with the Global Sources brand identity retained in the Asian region.
Lionel Assant, head of European private equity at Blackstone, added: “We are very excited by the merger. There is significant opportunity in the events space globally and this is a perfect strategic fit driven by tremendous growth potential.”