Steve Monnington of Mayfield Media Strategies runs the rule over the latest global exhibition deals.
Ascential unveiled their 2017 results at the end of February and, at the same time, announced a strategic review of their exhibition business.
Such an announcement usually precedes a sale so we can expect to see Spring and Autumn Fair (Gifts), Pure (Fashion), Bett (Education) and CWIEME (Coil Winding) change hands sometime this year. The total portfolio under review represents £78m of revenue and one would assume that they will aim to sell the business as a single unit.
Bett is the star of the portfolio under review with a successful geoclone program resulting in an 11 per cent increase in revenue from 2016 to 2017. It will be harder to attract interest for Spring/Autumn Fair (revenue decrease of two per cent), and Pure (down three per cent). UK Retail sector exhibitions are having a hard time right now and the fact that they represent 55 per cent of the total revenue will make a sale of the overall portfolio at a decent multiple quite difficult.
The review excludes Money 20/20 and Cannes Lions and follows on from the sale of 11 UK-based “heritage brands” – those associated with the original EMAP brand such as Drapers, Nursing Times and Construction News to publishing group Metropolis for £23.5m in June last year.
One company not put off by difficulties in the fashion sector is SME London, which has acquired The Clothes Show from Haymarket. SME know the event well having worked for 25 years with The British Fashion Council and having launched London Fashion Weekend. SME plan to bring the show back in 2019 and we should expect some twists on the format from MD Tim Etchells.
Telegraph Events have sold a number of their consumer exhibitions. The London Bike Show and Triathlon Show are the subject of a management buyout led by Frazer Clifford under his new company Newtimber Media while Be:FIT, the UK’s largest and leading fitness and wellbeing festival for women and Salon QP, the luxury watch fair, have been sold to publishing group Hearst UK, who have a number of magazine brands focussed on health and wellness and the luxury market.
The sale leaves the Telegraph’s consumer events division with just the Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Show and the Telegraph Travel Show.
In a similar move to Hearst, Bauer Media Group has acquired fishing show The Big One from founder Vince Davies to complement their angling media business comprising fishing print and digital magazines, social media and websites.
This month Messe Frankfurt continue their strong M&A run with two deals. The first, which also brings them into the UK for the first time, is the acquisition of their own brand Automechanika Birmingham, which has been run under license by Rob Sherwood of Forest Exhibitions.
This is the first time that a German Messe has set up in the UK – will this be a significant development? Messe Frankfurt also acquired the Thailand Lighting and Building Fairs, expending their worldwide Light + Building brand.
Terrapinn has acquired UK-based Science Media Partners, organisers of SDW (next generation human identity solutions) in London and connect:id (physical and digital identity) which takes place in the USA in Washington.
The proposed takeover of UBM by Informa hasn’t stopped UBM’s acquisition activity as UBM Brazil announces the purchase of Grupo CanalEnergia, the leading events and media company in the Brazilian energy sector. The portfolio of events includes ENASE, Brazil Windpower, Brazil Solar Power and Energy Expo Forum.