Home TopicMergers & Acquisitions Dealmakers: Steve Monnington’s latest roundup of the industry’s biggest deals

Dealmakers: Steve Monnington’s latest roundup of the industry’s biggest deals

by EN

In 2007, Simon Burton invited Mayfield to run a seminar on M&A in the events industry at his Exhibiting Show. One of Simon’s team (then aged 20) saw our session and in his own words: “the presentation opened my eyes to the idea of building and selling events. As a rookie in the industry I had been excited enough to sell space and work on other people’s events, but after the seminar I knew that if wanted to make real money I had to own my own business. Working under an entrepreneur like Simon made it all very clear – I wanted to launch, grow and then sell.”

Hyve to acquire 121 Group
That rookie was Toby Duckworth who, along with fellow shareholders Pablo Martin, Leo Stemp and Charlie Hastings, founded 121 Group seven years later in 2014 and have now sold the business to Hyve Group using Mayfield as advisors. 121 Group organise invitation-only investor introduction and deal sourcing meeting programmes for the mining sector in Europe, USA, Asia and South Africa. They have created events where corporate participants have an obligation to market their businesses globally to investors. In addition, the group runs an investor relations service for mining companies including The Assay – an online information and marketing site for the sector. The associated products provide additional touch points with clients helping 121 Group to grow into an established provider of marketing services for small-mid cap mining companies looking to raise capital. The transaction with Hyve, which includes earnouts for the years to March 2023 and 2024, is worth an estimated £40m to £50m.
In 2018, Hyve acquired Mining Indaba from Euromoney, taking ownership of the leading event dedicated to mining in Africa. The acquisition of 121 Group expands their mining investment exhibition interests globally and, together with Mining Indaba, creates an omnichannel platform for African mining and investment communities.

Clarion partners with Consero
Clarion Events has announced it has partnered with Consero Group, a market leading provider of in-person and digital one-to-one forums and boardroom-style roundtables in the legal, human resources, procurement, customer experience and technology markets, for senior corporate executives across the USA. Last year Clarion acquired Quartz Events who produce invitation only executive summits in North America in 12 sectors ranging from cybersecurity to logistics, procurement and finance. Whereas Quartz’s events are largely transactional (buyer meets seller), Consero’s are more peer to peer giving insight into corporate spend and digital transformation. The acquisition is a continuing strategy of integrating new and evolving models with a targeted focus on connecting buyers and sellers through meaningful meetings.
The Quartz business has grown significantly in the year since it was acquired and their model has been applied to several of Clarion’s existing sectors. Consero also brings several new opportunities for Clarion in North America and potentially globally. The founders of both Quartz and Consero have retained significant minority stakes, a partnership approach that is logical given that these represent a new but rapidly developing business model for Clarion.

Arc acquires five brands
Arc, headed by Simon Foster, has made a second acquisition acquiring five brands – Farm Business Innovation, Holiday Park and Resort Innovation, Family Attraction Expo, Country House Business Innovation and Leisure Food & Beverage Expo – which are all co-located as one annual event focussing on UK farmers and land owners who are seeking alternative sources of income.
This follows the acquisition of Agriconnect (Farmers Guardian and LAMMA) a few months ago and the new business will become part of the agriculture portfolio. The brands were acquired from Fortem International (previously Prsym) who sold a significant part of their portfolio to Apiary Capital backed organiser Roar B2B at the end of 2019 – a transaction that kickstarted Roar’s buy and
build journey.

Ptak buys three shows
Ptak Warsaw Expo, Poland (and Central Europe’s) largest exhibition centre with 143,000m2 of internal exhibition space has made their first acquisition buying three market leading shows – Eurogastro (hotel and catering), WorldHotel and TT Warsaw (tourism) – from MT Targi Polska whose owner retired prior to the pandemic. The Ptak venue was only completed in 2015 and owns the majority of the shows run at the venue (30 out
of approximately 40 shows planned
for 2022).

Italian cuisine merger
The European Pizza and Pasta Show (EPPS) has merged with Bellavita Expo London to create one combined show at Olympia. EPPS was owned by the late Roger Shashoua founder of ITE Exhibitions and was run by ex ITE director Slava Blagoeva who took over the ownership after Roger’s death earlier this year. The merger is a bit of a no-brainer as there is no real exhibitor overlap and the combination of the two shows will cover the best of Italian food, drink and associated equipment. The combined show will expand its sectors to incorporate plant based and free from products, beverages and ice cream.

Vuka partnerships
The Vuka Group, recently formed from the management buyout of Clarion Events’ Africa business, has created two partnerships with entrepreneur-led organisers. The first is with Smarter Mobility Africa founded by Ben Pullen and will take advantage of Vuka Group’s back office, systems, media platforms and general know-how to more easily scale the business as well as taking advantage of the synergies that their energy portfolio brings. The other partnership is with Kinetic Events and brings Vuka Group into the Retail sector, specifically e-commerce and customer fulfilment. Kinetic are a conference organiser running events such as Customer Experience Management Summit and e-Commerce Africa Confex.

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