UBM buys Advanstar, Magic organiser

Done. UBM, the UK trade show giant which organises 400 events in some thirty countries, has just announced its acquisition of the American Advanstar. An official announcement putting an end to the rumours. Above all, this puts the Las Vegas sourcing and fashion events in its hands, with Magic and Magic Sourcing as the headliners.

Project in Las Vegas.
A 972 million US dollar transaction, or approximately 771 million euros. For analysts, the amount paid is a little high compared to the originally estimated 900 million but this acquisition catapults UBM into a leading position as a BtoB events coordinator across the Atlantic.

Based in California, Advanstar, which employs 555 people, officially organises 54 trade fairs and some one hundred conferences per year. In the area of fashion and lifestyle, the portfolio is dense, with Magic, Magic Sourcing, Coterie, Tents, ENK, Project, etc. And this purchase by UBM, very present in Asia, will relaunch the rumours for the expansion of these events to Asia.

Joe Loggia, CEO of Advanstar, is keeping his position but will now report to Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM. The Group estimates that the fallouts will quickly turn positive thanks to the synergies but also to the tax optimisation and a better geographic distribution of the activities. UBM, which achieved a turnover of approximately 463 million pounds sterling (595 million euros) in 2013 with the trade fairs, will add 135 million pounds in revenue to this sector.

And above all, this acquisition should allow England to be less dependent on emerging markets which weigh 45% of its activities against 13% of the global trade fairs market.

The Group, which defines itself as a world leader in trade fairs, behind Reed but in front of Messe Frankfurt, carries out 25% of its trade fair activities in the United States, 14% in continental Europe and 10% at home. During the first semester, the events division (Cosmoprof Asia, HK Jewellery, APLF Materials…) saw its sales progress by 5.8% to 214 million pounds sterling with a constant exchange rate.

UBM, which is also the full owner of Pr Newswire, had a total biannual turnover that remained stable at 361 million for an adjusted 87.4 million profit after taxes.

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