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UBM Buys Advanstar for $927 Million

UBM plc announced Wednesday that is has agreed to purchase U.S. event producer Advanstar Communications for $972 million in cash, making the U.K.-based media company of the largest event organizers in the U.S.

Advanstar operates 54 trade shows and 100 conferences annually, including Magic, the largest U.S. fashion convention held twice a year in Las Vegas. The transaction will diversify UBM’s events portfolio, which currently includes Game Developer Conference, the world’s largest event for the game industry, and CPhI Worldwide, a leading pharmaceutical ingredient event.

Tim Cobbold, UBM’s chief executive officer, described the acquisition as being “financially attractive” for the company. He said, “Advanstar gives UBM a portfolio of high quality, large scale ‘must-attend’ events which serve growing markets, particularly the U.S. fashion industry, a new vertical for UBM.”

Advanstar chief executive officer Joe Loggia said, “UBM’s interest in Advanstar reflects the success of our strategy and quality of our industry-leading products. With greater scale across key international geographies, the combined company will be strongly positioned to continue expanding into dynamic, vertical markets.” He added, “Together with UBM, we will be a global leader with a well-established portfolio of highly regarded trade shows, attracting exhibitors and retailers from all over the world and providing enhanced opportunities for customers to share insights, build critical connections and drive commerce. We thank our financial sponsors for their support of Advanstar to help fuel our growth.”

The sale will be finalized by the end of this year. UBM reported that Loggia would maintain his role at Advanstar for a transitional period post close.