Emerald Expositions Inc, a portfolio company of Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp, has agreed to buy George Little Management LLC (GLM) for US$335 million. The seller in the transaction is U.S. private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, which acquired the White Plains, New York-based tradeshow company in 2011. The deal, which will be funded by around $200 million of debt and a $140 million equity investment from Onex Partners III, is expected to close in Jan. 2014. Onex earlier this year acquired Emerald Expositions, a San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based operator of business-to-business trade shows and conferences, for US$950 million.
Emerald Expositions to Acquire GLM
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIFORNIA and WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK–(Marketwired – Dec. 20, 2013) –
Emerald Expositions, Inc. (“Emerald”) and George Little Management LLC (“GLM”) announced today that Emerald has agreed to acquire GLM from Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”) for $335 million, subject to certain adjustments at, and after, closing.
GLM creates face-to-face buying, selling and networking platforms for designers, product developers, manufacturers, retailers and operators through more than 20 leading tradeshows including four of the largest 100 trade shows in the U.S. GLM’s tradeshows serve industries as diverse as home furnishings, home textiles, stationery and paper products, giftware, tabletop, gourmet housewares, contemporary furniture and interiors, personal care, art & design, antiques & jewelry, fashion, board sports & resort lifestyle, and e-commerce. GLM has approximately 130 employees and operates out of six U.S. offices.
David Loechner, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald, said, “GLM is a truly outstanding tradeshow company with an exciting portfolio and an experienced and talented workforce. This acquisition expands upon our position as a leading tradeshow organizer in the United States. I am excited about the opportunities for customers and employees of both companies that will result from bringing these two high-quality portfolios together.”
Charles McCurdy, Chief Executive Officer of GLM, said, “This transaction demonstrates the strength of GLM’s shows that have grown successfully thanks to the effectiveness of the GLM team and Providence’s support. This is a compelling opportunity going forward for GLM and its stakeholders, and I wish David Loechner and his team the best of luck as they seek to further expand GLM’s product offerings and accelerate growth.”
Michael Dominguez, a Managing Director at Providence, said “Charlie’s leadership and the dedication of the entire management team were integral to the success of this investment. We’re fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with GLM to accelerate growth, launch new products and make acquisitions that increased the breadth of its shows. We believe GLM has a bright future as part of Emerald Expositions.”
The transaction is anticipated to close in January 2014, subject to customary regulatory approvals. The acquisition will be funded with approximately $200 million of debt and a $140 million equity investment from Onex Partners III. Emerald was acquired by Onex Partners III in June 2013.
BofA Merrill Lynch is serving as lead financial advisor, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor and Fried Frank is serving as legal advisor to Emerald. Credit Suisse is serving as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to GLM for the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to the financing sources for Emerald on the transaction.
About Emerald Expositions
Emerald is a leading operator of large business-to-business tradeshows in the United States, producing more than 65 tradeshows and conference events per year connecting over 335,000 buyers and sellers across nine diversified end-markets, including general merchandise, sports, hospitality and retail design, jewelry, photography, decorated apparel, building, healthcare and military. Emerald is headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, California. The company’s shows are typically the most prominent and important for exhibitors and attendees within their various industries. For more information on Emerald, please visit www.emeraldexpositions.com.
GLM brings efficiencies and opportunities to the flow of merchandise – from product development/manufacturer to vendor/brand manager to retailer to consumer – through tradeshows, consumer events and digital platforms. GLM events include NY NOW™, International Contemporary Furniture Fair®, Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, National Stationery Show®, Surf Expo®, SURTEX® and The Original Miami Beach Antique Show®, among others. For more information on GLM, please visit www.glmmarkets.com.
Providence Equity Partners is the leading global private equity firm specializing in equity investments in media, communications, education, and information companies around the world. In total, the firm’s principals manage funds with $37 billion in commitments and have invested in more than 130 companies globally since the firm’s inception in 1989. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Beijing, and New Delhi. Visit www.provequity.com for more information.
Chief Financial Officer
Providence Equity Partners
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.