Nick Curci
President | Corporate Solutions

He tapped the smaller event M&A market and positioned himself as the go-to guy for buying and selling consumer and trade show events.

Last year, magazine publishing M&A activity was record-breaking. The sales of huge companies like VNU, Penton and Reader’s Digest made headlines. But behind the scenes there were plenty of smaller deals going on, including the sales of major events handled by Westport, Connecticut-based Corporate Solutions president Nick Curci who closed 10 transactions encompassing over 70 events.

In 1995, Curci founded his company after leaving CMC Conference Management. With experience in the tradeshow and conference world, Curci figured he found an untapped side of the business. Curci does work with print properties but only if there is an event component as well. In 10 years, Corporate Solutions has closed more than 40 transactions with a total deal value of over $300 million. "It’s a more competitive environment on the print side than on the events side," says Curci. "I don’t really compete with any other investment banking firms since we focus on different sized markets."

Curci’s largest deal to date came in November when Merchandise Mart Properties Canada, a division of Chicago-based Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., acquired York Communications and MediaEdge Communications West, a deal that included over 50 trade shows and conferences in the building, design, construction and real estate industries.

In October 2006, Curci handled United Business Media’s acquisition of eight video game tradeshows from Austin Game Initiative for an estimated $1.5 million. "In the last 12 to 14 months, we’ve brought the small and mid-size marquee deals to the industry, showcasing a lot of companies people weren’t even aware of," says Curci. "It brings more value to the selling shareholders."

According to Curci, 2007 is already shaping up to be promising year. At press time, he was representing a company looking to sell its nine conferences and had four new representations in the works. "It’s a very active environment," says Curci. "I think its great for everybody including my larger competitors."

In 10 years, Corporate Solutions has closed more than 40 transactions with a total deal value of over $300 million.