George Little Management Auction Nears End

The Daily Mail & General Trust, the U.K. media conglomerate, is near a sale of George Little Management, several sources say.

GLM is in talks to sell itself to a larger sponsor, sources say. But it’s unclear who that is. However, another source says that a few PE firms remain and that GLM is getting close to selecting a buyer.

The Daily Mail & General Trust owns newspaper including The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday. GLM is its U.S. trade show business. GLM produces 15 trade shows including the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, Surf Expo and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. The company produces about $25 million in cash flow and was seeking bids of 10x EBITDA, sources say. Valuations for GLM range from $200 million to $240 million, according to press reports.

One source says that GLM will like not succeed in getting 10x. GLM, according to the source, has one main franchise–its gift shows–that generate a large percentage of revenue. “Financing isn’t that robust and many people lost money in b2b,” the source says.

Alan Steel, GLM’s president, declined to comment on the sale.

In May, George Little went up for sale and hired the Jordan, Edmiston Group as its advisor. Several large PE firms looked at the business. Reed Elsevier, UBM and Informa also looked at GLM, according to press reports.

It looks like DMGT paid about $250 million in total for Georgle little. DMGT reportedly bought a 25% stake in George Little in 2000 for about $70 million. In the beginning of 2007, DMGT paid another $21 million to boost that stake to 49%. DMGT, later that year, paid another $155 million for the remaining 51% of George Little, according to Home Accents Today.

Officials for Jordan, Edmiston declined comment.