On June 2, two U.S.-based divisions of United Business Media announced acquisitions that underscored how the b-to-b media sector has developed over the past decade. Specifically, the deals emphasized revenue streams other than print advertising and focused on international markets.
“UBM is a global company with global business units,” said Seth Alpert, managing director of media investment bank AdMedia Partners. “I think being global is increasingly important. There's more growth outside the U.S. than there is inside the U.S.”
Here are the highlights of UBM's two deals:
--TechInsights, which publishes EE Times, acquired the Embedded Systems Show and Embedded System
Engineering from London-based EDA Exhibitions. These assets join TechInsights' own Embedded Systems Conference, embedded.com and Embedded Systems Design. TechInsights also added MCAD and the Auto ID & Data Capture event, which is aimed at OEMs and end-users of RFID and wireless sensor networks.
--The Everything Channel acquired Next Level, a Miami-based company that provides marketing services to such vendors as IBM Corp., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. looking to maximize their relationships with the channel. Next Level has a large presence in South America in general and Argentina in particular.
TechInsights (formerly CMP's Electronics Group) has a strong presence in China with its EE Times China and other properties. With the Embedded Systems Show acquisition, it is trying to set itself up for growth in Europe, where electronics design remains strong. Paul Miller, CEO of TechInsights, said the acquisition demonstrates the unit's commitment to Europe, where it publishes EE Times Europe, EE Times UK, EE Times France and EE Times Germany. TechInsights expects that the Embedded Systems Show will provide a platform for launching new events in Europe.
For Everything Channel (formerly CMP Channel), the Next Level acquisition is designed to expand the unit's offerings into Latin America, where about 50% of Next Level's employees are located. Additionally, the acquisition adds to the products that Everything Channel can offer its traditional advertisers.
Next Level, said Robert Faletra, Everything Channel's CEO, “quickens the pace at which a vendor can get a new [channel] partner up to speed. It can help current partners to sell more of your products. It's a phone-based sales system that calls on behalf of vendors to solution providers.”
In February, when UBM eliminated a layer of upper management in the U.S. and restructured CMP into four separate, autonomous divisions (the other two, in addition to Everything Channel and TechInsights, are TechWeb and Think Services), the goal was to make the business units more nimble.
Miller said the new structure is working. “It was faster than having that extra layer to go through,” he said of TechInsights' recent acquisition.
Faletra agreed. “It's much faster,” he said. “We are definitely in acquisition mode, and we're looking at several others right now.”