Advanstar to sell IT, travel and several other units to start-up company

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New York—Advanstar Communications announced Monday that it has agreed to sell several of its market groups, including those focused on information technology and travel, to a start-up company for about $185 million in cash.

Under the terms of the agreement, Questex Media Group will acquire Advanstar’s Information Technology & Communications, Travel & Hospitality, Beauty, Home Entertainment, Abilities and Portfolio groups. Those groups generated about $100 million in revenue in 2004.

Questex was formed by Audax Group and Kerry Gumas, current VP-general manager of Advanstar’s Information Technology & Communications Group. Gumas will serve as president-CEO of Questex.

Advanstar will maintain publishing, trade show and other operations within its Fashion, License, Motor Vehicle, Healthcare, Science and Pharmaceutical groups, which together generated about $275 million in revenue last year.

The deal is expected to close at the end of this month. Advanstar said it intends to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions or repayment of debt.

"This transaction is an important step in executing our strategy to leverage our position in key markets, develop innovative, quality products and continually redefine integrated marketing beyond the traditional b-to-b model," Joe Loggia, president-CEO of Advanstar, said in a statement. "We believe that by dividing Advanstar’s assets into two groups, both companies will be better able to focus on core competencies, address customers’ needs and capitalize on future opportunities."

—John Obrecht


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