Advanstar to Be Acquired by UBM plc for $972 Million

Transaction Combines Advanstar’s Leading U.S. Trade Show Operations with UBM’s Global Events-Led Communications Business

Establishes UBM as the Largest U.S. Events Organizer

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--()--Advanstar Communications Inc., a leading U.S. media company providing integrated marketing solutions for the Fashion, Licensing, Life Sciences, and Powersports industries, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which UBM plc will acquire Advanstar Communications in a transaction valued at approximately $972 million from an investor group that includes Anchorage Capital Group LLC, Veronis Suhler Stevenson, as well as funds managed by the Tradable Credit Group at Ares Management L.P.

The transaction will combine Advanstar – one of the largest and most respected operators of U.S. tradeshows – with UBM’s worldwide platform to create the largest events business in the U.S. and maintain Advanstar as the No. 1 player in U.S. fashion industry events. The combined company will have a best-in-class portfolio of products and services:

  • Advanstar’s iconic MAGIC Marketplace, the largest apparel marketplace in the world for fashion buyers and brands;
  • Advanstar’s New York Fashion suite of events comprised of 16 category-focused selling exhibitions including Coterie, the leading marketplace for women’s designer, contemporary, denim and lifestyle fashion;
  • UBM’s Game Developers Conference, the world's largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and CPhI Worldwide, the world’s leading pharmaceutical ingredients event;
  • High-quality, well-attended conferences, including a robust collection of highly-targeted events covering the entire pharmaceutical industry value chain through Advanstar’s CBI Group;
  • State-of-the-art trade publications and digital products and websites, including Advanstar’s Pharmaceutical Executive and Drug Topics, as well as its newly launched digital marketplace ShopTheFloor.

Joe Loggia, Advanstar’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are extremely pleased to join such a dynamic organization and bring together our complementary businesses, talented teams and customer-focused cultures. 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. Together with UBM, we will be a global leader with a well-established portfolio of highly regarded tradeshows, 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.”

Tim Cobbold, UBM’s Chief Executive Officer said, “This is a great acquisition for UBM and its shareholders. In addition to being financially attractive, it strengthens UBM’s core events business while balancing and complementing UBM’s strong events portfolio in emerging markets. UBM will become the largest events organizer in the U.S. – the biggest events market in the world. 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. I look forward to working closely with Advanstar’s CEO Joe Loggia and his strong management team in the coming months.”

The transaction, which is subject to approval by UBM shareholders and customary regulatory and closing conditions, is expected to close by year-end. Mr. Loggia has agreed to stay on for a transitional period post-close.

Goldman Sachs & Co. and Moelis & Company served as financial advisors to Advanstar, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Slaughter and May provided legal counsel. J.P. Morgan Cazenove served as sole financial advisor to UBM, while Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as its legal advisor.

About Advanstar Communications Inc.

Advanstar is an event and marketing services business that serves business professionals and consumers in the Fashion, Licensing, Life Sciences and Powersports industries with its portfolio of 54 trade shows, 100 conferences, 30 publications, and almost 200 electronic products and Web sites, as well as educational and direct marketing products and services. Market leading brands and a commitment to delivering innovative, quality products and services enables Advanstar to “Connect Our Customers With Theirs.” Advanstar has more than 550 employees and currently operates from multiple offices in North America and Europe.


Sard Verbinnen & Co
Stephanie Pillersdorf / Lesley Bogdanow / Emily Deissler, 212-687-8080


Sard Verbinnen & Co
Stephanie Pillersdorf / Lesley Bogdanow / Emily Deissler, 212-687-8080