Arc Forges a Path Into North America With HighQuest Acquisition
Announced on Aug. 24, the transaction includes the events and media assets of Boston-based HighQuest and its annual summits held in the U.S., U.K. and Japan. These include Global AgInvesting (GAI), the world’s largest gatherings of agriculture investors and sector stakeholders; Unconventional Ag (UA); Ag Club; and Women in Agribusiness (WIA), a network platform at the forefront of women’s excellence in agribusiness.
In addition to the flagship GAI NY and WIA, HighQuest also produces a suite of other live events, hosts webinars, runs GAI News and produces research for the sector.
According to Greg Mellinger, CEO of HighQuest, the media company launched its first agriculture conference in response to the ballooning interest in farmland investment during the financial crisis in 2009.
“Since then, we’ve been on a tremendous growth journey as an organization, becoming the world leader in connecting the agriculture investment communities, creating a platform for promoting women’s excellence in agribusiness and continuously finding new ways to connect industry stakeholders,” Mellinger explained. “With an increasing global focus on food security and the need to connect on sustainable strategies to propel forward, the future of global agriculture has never been more pressing.”
He added, “We have big ambitions to assist our clients’ growth and success in this sector, and so we are extremely pleased to be partnering with Arc to further develop the business.”
Backed by investment funds managed by leading New York-based middle-market private equity firm EagleTree Capital, Arc organizes more than 100 events a year and runs content platforms in agriculture, food, business sustainability and financial services.
As it continues its development as a next-generation events and media platform supporting B2B communities around the world, Arc’s acquisition of HighQuest marks the company’s first investment in North America as well as its fifth acquisition in the last twelve months.
In December of 2021, Arc added a portfolio of five U.K. rural and leisure shows from B2B trade show company Fortem International to its Agriconnect business and last spring, acquired financial services and business sustainability portfolios from Incisive Media, a London, U.K.-based B2B digital media and events company in the financial services, enterprise technology and business sustainability markets.
“I’m delighted to welcome Greg and the team to Arc,” said Simon Foster, CEO of Arc Group. “This is a great business in a high-growth sector that also happens to be a perfect fit for our network. These brands sit at the intersection of our established sector communities—finance, agriculture, food and sustainability.
He added, “We look forward to working closely with Greg and the team, sharing best practices throughout the network and helping to grow GAI, WIA, UA and the Ag Club. ”
Canson Capital Partners, a participant in the Arc partnership since its inception, served as financial adviser during the transaction.