Centaur Media Travel and Meetings Ltd, which includes the Business Travel Show and The Meetings Show, will be sold to Northstar Travel Media UK Ltd for a cash consideration of £9.25m.
Northstar Travel Media UK is an arm of US-based B2B Northstar Media Group, a global information and marketing solutions company serving all segments of the travel industry including leisure/retail, corporate/business travel, business and sports meetings, incentives, and travel technology.
The disposal follows Centaur’s decision last October to explore divestment of its smaller businesses ‘in order to simplify the Group’s structure and to focus management resources on its leading brands’.
The company announced earlier this month that it has raised £5m from the sale of its financial services business, which includes the Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy brands.
Andria Vidler, CEO of Centaur, commented: “Today’s announcement is another important milestone in Centaur’s ongoing transformation. As we focus on building more robust and stronger recurring revenues, we are reducing Group complexity and overheads that will allow us to deliver efficiencies and improve our operating margins.
“Our travel and meetings exhibitions have made a valuable contribution to Centaur over the years, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team for their commitment. I am pleased that the business is joining Northstar, who recognise its value and whose expertise and understanding of the travel sector will help it to realise its potential.”
David Chapple, group event director, said: “The acquisition of the Travel & Meetings business by Northstar is very exciting for all of the teams working across The Meetings Show, The Business Travel Show and Travel Technology Europe. Northstar’s portfolio, spanning corporate travel, travel technology and the global meetings and incentive industry, dovetails perfectly with our own and they have been our preferred choice from the outset.
“For all of our events, it is business as usual – the teams working on the shows, with their extensive knowledge of the sector, will be remaining exactly the same; our exhibitors and hosted buyers will have the same points of contact and we will be continuing to provide vital platforms for the meetings, events and travel industries to converge. Our next chapter, as part of the Northstar Travel Group, will open doors for us and lead to an even stronger future.”
Thomas Kemp, chairman and CEO of Northstar Travel Group, said: “The addition of Centaur’s Travel & Meetings exhibitions to our global portfolio of 80 events in 13 countries fits perfectly with our strategy to expand our event segment with the UK’s leading portfolio of travel shows. The acquisition also provides Northstar with a platform in London to expand our portfolio of travel information and marketing services properties in the UK and Europe and we are excited to add David Chapple and his team of travel event professionals to the Northstar team.”
Cavendish Corporate Finance is acting as financial adviser to Centaur in relation to the sale of the professional services businesses.
For the year ended 31 December 2018, Centaur’s travel and meetings exhibitions made normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation operating profit of £1.7m (before central overhead allocations), up from £1.6m in 2017, on revenues of £6.4m (2017: £6.1m). At 31 December 2018, the business had gross assets of £1.7m.