PE-backed Upper Street Events acquires Escape Events

Upper Street Events, which is backed by Livingbridge, has acquired UK-based Escape Events, a provider of events and trade shows. No financial terms were disclosed.


Upper Street Events has today announced the acquisition of Escape Events, bringing the Adventure Travel Show, three Cruise Shows and the Olympia Historic Automobile Fair into the Upper Street Events portfolio.

These shows join Upper Street’s strong lineup of quality consumer events which include Country Living, Language Show, London Art Fair and the Cycle Show. The Upper Street portfolio now encompasses 25 consumer shows and one trade event.

Escape Events, which was founded fifteen years ago, is based in Kent and has seven employees.

Upper Street is backed by the mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge which invested in the company in 2014 as part of a management buyout. This acquisition is the first for Upper Street who has launched four new shows this year.

Managing Director of Upper Street Events, Paul Byrom, commented:
‘We are delighted to welcome the Escape Events business and its team into Upper Street Events. We share similar values, culture and a clear focus on delivering best in class passion-led events. The Escape events have a loyal and very well targeted visitor base and strong support from the market place. There is also excellent opportunity to utilise the Upper Street database and marketing platform to extend the reach of the shows and enhance return on exhibitors’ investment. By attracting a mix of well-informed and knowledgeable, returning and new visitors, we can create even more vibrant and successful events, and we look forward to accelerating their growth.’

Martin Anslow, Managing Director of Escape Events commented:
‘After developing these events over 8 years we wanted to ensure they continue to flourish. I think the “fit” with Upper Street is an excellent one, and provides a springboard for new thinking and further growth. Upper Street and Escape Events both share a passion to present high quality consumer events which “go the extra mile” and deliver real value for exhibitors and visitors and I am excited to be working with them into the future.’

Bevan Duncan at Livingbridge commented:
“This is a great addition to Upper Street Events with Escape Events perfectly complementing the business. This acquisition adds another string to Upper Street Events’ bow, allowing it to launch new shows and expand its delivery of premium events. Upper Street Events has an exciting future and we look forward to helping the business grow both organically and through further acquisitions.”

Notes to Editors

Escape Events and Upper Street
Escape Events was founded by Martin Anslow. The Escape Events staff will integrate with the Upper Street Events team, based in Islington through the course of 2017. Martin will remain with the business until December 2018 and the current team which includes Chris, Mary, Madeleine, Francis, Katie and Jack, remains unchanged. The Escape team’s integration will be led by Portfolio Director Shirry Liram who has been with Upper Street for seven years launching new events and managing shows such as MOVE IT, The WI Fair and The Language Show.

The Adventure Travel show is the largest event of its type in the UK attracting some 13,000 visitors. The Cruise Show portfolio delivers the premium events in the sector with established events running in Olympia and the NEC, and a new event launching at the Business Design Centre in autumn 2017.

Upper Street Events undertook a MBO supported by LivingBridge private Equity in December 2014 and continues to grow its portfolio of premier event brands by launching new shows and acquiring existing events. The board is committed to investing in the future through further organic growth, partnerships and acquisitions.

Livingbridge are a mid-market private equity firm of over 75 people in the UK and Australia with over £1bn to invest in fast growing companies over the next five years.

Our team have been backing growing businesses together for twenty years, investing anything from £2m to £50m in businesses valued at between £5m and £125m. We’ve done it over a hundred times, turning many into household names both at home and abroad. We get growth.

We understand the people behind growing companies in consumer markets; healthcare and education; technology, media and telecommunications; financial services and business services, and help them achieve what’s right for them and their business.

We invest on behalf of both institutional and retail investors. We are actively investing funds on behalf of Livingbridge 6 LP, Livingbridge 5 LP, Livingbridge Enterprise 2 LP and the two Baronsmead Ventures Trusts. Livingbridge also manage the Wood Street Microcap Investment Fund.