October 1, 2014 Last Updated 8:02 am

UBM announces acquisition of Advanstar from investor owners in $972 million deal

The U.S. B2B events and publishing company Advanstar traces its history back to Edgell Communications and has bounced between private equity owners since 1996

The U.S. based B2B events and publishing company Advanstar has been acquired by London headquartered B2B UBM plc. The transaction was valued at approximately $972 million. Advanstar’s owners, a group led by private-equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) acquired the firm in 2007 for $1.14 billion.

UBM traces its history back to 1918 when it was founded as United Newspapers by David Lloyd George, the British Liberal politician who served as prime minister from 1916 to 1922. UBM today owns PR Newswire, but is no longer the newspaper business.

magicadvanstarAdvanstar owns the fashion event MAGIC Marketplace and other trade shows. Its markets, in addition to fashion, include power sports, veterinary, automotive, healthcare, pharmaceutical, licensing and dental, as well as the CBI subsidiary.

Advanstar can trace its history back to Edgell Communications. A few years after changing its name to Advanstar in 1992, the company was sold to Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners III, L.P. of San Francisco for $237 million. In 1998 it made it largest acquisition, picking up MAGIC International for $234 million. In 2000, at the height of the B2B boom, the company was sold for around $900 million to DLJ Merchant Banking Partners before finally ending up with VSS in 2007.

“This is a great acquisition for UBM and its shareholders,” Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM said. “In addition to being financially attractive, it strengthens UBM’s core events business while balancing and complementing UBM’s strong events portfolio in emerging markets. UBM will become the largest events organizer in the U.S. – the biggest events market in the world. Advanstar gives UBM a portfolio of high quality, large scale ‘must-attend’ events which serve growing markets, particularly the U.S. fashion industry, a new vertical for UBM. I look forward to working closely with Advanstar’s CEO Joe Loggia and his strong management team in the coming months.”

Private equity companies have been looking to exit from the investments in B2B in the U.S., following years of declining performance. VSS exited its investment in Hanley-Wood, Centaur Communications and Ascend Media, for instance, though the PE firm still has an investment in Access Intelligence, the company formed by the merger of PBI Media and Chemical Week Associates.

Comments are closed.