UBM Confirms in Talks for Possible Advanstar Acquisition

September 18, 2014

U.K.-based UBM confirmed that it is in talks to acquire Advanstar Communications that “may, or may not, lead to a transaction.”

The statement was made after Reuters reported that UBM was in advanced stages to buy Advanstar for a $900 million pricetag. Representatives for Advanstar declined to comment.

Advanstar serves the fashion, licensing, life sciences and powersports industries with its portfolio of 54 trade shows, 100 conferences, 30 publications, and nearly 200 electronic products and Web sites, as well as educational and direct marketing products and services.

It runs the two largest fashion shows in the U.S. – Magic Market Week – held biannually in Las Vegas.

Last year’s Magic Market Week in February was ranked No. 5 on TSNN’s 2013 Top 250 Trade Show List and drew 70,000 attendees to more than 1 million net square feet in several venues across the city.

The August show last year ranked No. 8 and had more than 66,000 attendees to 952,741 net sq. ft. of space.

The company also has 600 employees, with its headquarters based in Santa Monica, Calif., and offices throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Advanstar is controlled by hedge fund Anchorage Capital Group and private equity firms Ares Management LP and Veronis Suhler Stevenson and generates approximately $95 million annually in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Just more than a year ago was another large deal in the trade show industry, with Nielsen Expositions selling to private equity firm ONEX for $950 million and renamed Emerald Expositions.

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