BtoB

M&A activity in events industry booming

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New York—The trade show and conferences industry, dominated by b-to-b events, is primed for continued growth and high profitability, helping spark increased mergers and acquisitions activity in the sector.

Those findings were detailed in a new study released Thursday by media investment bank DeSilva+Phillips and AMR International, an M&A consultancy.

Events company profit margins of up to 40% are typical, according to the study, with a sustained international growth rate of 5.5% projected through 2011.

Opportunities for expansion and acquisitions are especially high in the Middle East and China, where events are growing by 20% and 15.1%, respectively, according to the study. “There are very strong profit opportunities within the trade show sector, and the fundamentals look solid for the next five years,” Denzil Rankine, CEO of AMR International, said Thursday at a conference at which the findings were detailed. “Events are a very strong ‘old media’ market.”

According to DeSilva+Phillips, there were 26 acquisitions of events companies in the first half of this year, compared with 36 deals in all of 2007.

—Christopher Hosford

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