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UBM Acquires Business Journals Inc. for $69 Million

UBM, owner of Magic Marketplace, continues to expand its portfolio of U.S. fashion trade shows. The U.K.-based B2B event company announced Friday the acquisition of Business Journals Inc. (BJI), the producer of AccessoriesTheShow, EDIT, FAME, Moda, MRket and Stitch, for $69 million in cash.

BJI events are carried out multiple times a year and sometimes operate on the same schedule and in the same venues as other UBM productions. Through the purchase, UBM aims to improve the trade show experience for both attendees and exhibitors and to create material synergies in areas operations, property and cross-marketing opportunities.

In 2015, BJI’s revenues were approximately $40-$33 million from events and $7 million from other marketing services, including several websites and publications for the fashion sector. In 2017, with a full year of contribution and strong operational and financial synergies, UBM said the acquisition will achieve a return on investment in excess of its weighted average cost of capital.

In a press release, UBM CEO Tim Cobbold said the transaction is in line with the company’s “Events First” strategy, a plan to drive profitable growth by managing large trade shows through the use of standardized systems and operations.

He continued, “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 realize the operational benefits which scale will bring.”