Why UBM Acquired Business Journals Inc.
Already a leader in the B2B event space, publisher UBM significantly expanded its conference portfolio with the acquisition of Business Journals Inc. last week. The Connecticut-based publisher owns several fashion trade shows including AccessoriesTheShow, EDIT, FAME, Moda, MRket, and Stitch. In 2015 BJI generated $40 million in revenue, $33 million of which was from its events business.
The acquisition complements UBM’s “Events First” strategy, which it adopted in 2014 after the $972 million acquisition of another leader in the B2B fashion space, Advanstar Communications. With that acquisition, UBM became the largest events producer in the U.S.
“UBM already has a strong presence in the fashion industry, a $350 billion industry in the U.S. characterized by frequent new product introductions, thousands of brands, and tens of thousands of retailers/buyers. The complementary BJI portfolio presents an opportunity for us to further strengthen our support for that market,” CEO Tim Cobbold told Publishing Executive.
He added that combining BJI and UBM fashion events will create a better experience for brands and consumers, as UBM will have the ability to better organize event dates and locations to best serve the market. “We see excellent opportunities to deliver an improved experience for customers and to realize the operational benefits which scale will bring,” Cobbold said in a press release last week.
UBM’s Events First strategy set a goal for the publisher to become the largest events producer in the world. Acquisitions like BJI are a critical part of reaching that goal, said Cobbold.
Read the complete press release below.
LONDON, April 22, 2016 -- UBM plc (LSE: UBM-LN) today announces the acquisition of Business Journals Inc (BJI), a producer of fashion trade shows in New York and Las Vegas, for $69m in cash.
BJI serves the men's apparel and women's apparel and accessories markets under the following leading tradeshow brands: AccessoriesTheShow, EDIT, FAME, Moda, MRket and Stitch. These shows run multiple times a year and in some cases are located in the same venues as UBM shows. BJI also operates several websites and publications serving the fashion sector. In 2015, BJI's revenues were approximately $40m - $33m from Events and $7m from Other Marketing Services.
BJI is highly complementary to UBM's existing fashion tradeshow portfolio. The combination of BJI and UBM will provide an improved experience for both attendees and exhibitors and generate material synergies in areas such as event operations, property and cross-marketing opportunities.
BJI is expected to make a modest post tax contribution this year. In 2017, with a full year of contribution and strong operational and financial synergies, the acquisition will achieve a return on investment in excess of UBM's weighted average cost of capital.
Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM plc, said:
"We are delighted to have acquired BJI. This transaction is very much in line with our 'Events First', strategy. It adds to our presence in North America and also in the fashion sector, both of which were already strong following UBM's acquisition of Advanstar at the end of 2014. We see excellent opportunities to deliver an improved experience for customers and to realise the operational benefits which scale will bring."
About UBM plc
UBM plc is a leading global marketing services and communications company, whose primary focus is events. We help businesses do business, bringing the world's buyers and sellers together at events, online and in print. Our 5,100 staff in more than 20 countries are organised into specialist teams which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently. Running over 400 events per year, UBM is the second largest exhibitions organiser globally and the largest independent organiser in the US and China.
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