Futurebuild Events Ltd, which has been set up by Ecobuild brand director, Martin Hurn, has acquired Ecobuild from UBM.
UBM, the former owner and organiser of Ecobuild, agreed to the sale of the show to Futurebuild following a review of its assets and partnerships.
The news follows the announcement of UBM’s results for the year ended 31 December 2016, which reported events revenue growth of 3.1 per cent (on an adjusted underlying basis).
Futurebuild Events made the acquisition with the intention of taking the event back to its roots and making it more entrepreneurial under independent ownership.
Hurn, who has spent 12 years in the building and construction industry, with the last five years running Ecobuild with UBM, will continue to lead the event with the existing Ecobuild project team.
“Taking the show independent is an important part of its evolution. The acquisition of Ecobuild by Futurebuild is an exciting opportunity to ensure the event truly has the flexibility to work as closely as possible with industry and focus on the products, trends and issues that really matter in the UK and to markets around the globe,” said Hurn.
“Our vision for Ecobuild in 2017 and beyond is to take the show back to its roots, putting the spotlight on true innovation and much needed debate around fundamental industry issues. Ecobuild will continue to be the forum for the industry to come together to shape the ongoing sustainability debate and share the latest innovations and thinking.
“The future success of Ecobuild will be all about the quality of experience and value gained from the event, measured by the brands and products showcased, the cutting-edge content and innovations, networking and debate that we will deliver for the industry.”
Nina Wright, who led UBM Built Environment said: “The decision to sell Ecobuild was taken as part of a portfolio review. We fully support the upcoming show and wish Martin and the team success with the future direction of the event.”
Hurn added that the 2017 show will run exactly as planned, offering the same investment in themes, features and format, as well as the same exhibitors, speakers and contributing partners.
Significant strategic progress and performance ahead of expectations
Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM said: “During 2016 we made significant strategic progress and delivered performance ahead of expectations. We took further steps to focus UBM on the attractive B2B events sector by completing the PRN disposal and, in December, acquiring Allworld. At the same time, we made excellent progress implementing the Events First strategy at an operational level and delivered a strong financial performance ahead of market expectations. In a favourable FX environment, reported revenues grew 12.1 per cent, the operating margin was 1.6 per cent points higher at 27.2 per cent and earnings per share increased by 31.0 per cent.
“While remaining conscious of the global macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainties, in 2017 the Board expects to see higher underlying revenue growth (excluding the impact of further portfolio rationalisation), enhanced by the consolidation of Allworld and the positive impact of odd-year biennials. This growth coupled with Events First initiatives will drive further improvement in the margin and continued strong cash generation.”